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Key Stage 3 PE – the lowdown

Boy on a bike
We take a look at the learning which takes place in KS3 PE and how you can help your child get ahead at home.

Although the range of sports may vary from school to school, in Key Stage 3 PE children will have opportunities to explore and further develop more complex tactics within the realm of team sports.

The emphasis in PE in Key Stage 3 is on inspiring children to excel in competitive sport and other physically demanding activities. Pupils are expected to develop their health and fitness, alongside qualities like teamwork, character and respect through competing in sports. It’s critical that the school’s PE programme prepares pupils for a lifetime of fitness activity.

The KS3 PE curriculum

In Years 7 to 9, children are taught to:

  • play a range of competitive sports as a team and as individuals, for example badminton, basketball, cricket, football, hockey, netball, rugby, rounders and tennis.
  • develop their technique and performance in competitive sports like gymnastics and athletics.
  • perform dances involving advanced techniques and a range of styles and forms.
  • take part in outdoor and adventurous pursuits that involve teamwork, trust and problem-solving.
  • analyse their performance and strive to reach their personal best.
  • take part in physical activities or competitive sports outside school.

Lesson examples

Here are the kinds of things your child might get up to in PE at school:

  • Year 7 pupils design their own dance sequences using the floor and apparatus. They include six actions incorporating flight, rolls and balances. Later they must adapt their routines to incorporate a dance partner, using synchronisation or canon.
  • A Year 8 class has been working on developing basic attacking and defending strategies in outdoor games. They learn how to organise themselves as a defence, how to mark a player, and how to keep possession of the ball using basic strategies such as changing the speed and direction of an attack.
  • Pupils practise warming up for hurdles. They jog and sprint in bursts before trying to refine their arm actions, which can lead to their upper bodies twisting as they run over the hurdles.

Help your child at home

  • Walk to and from school and whenever else possible.
  • Encourage moderately intensive activity for at least one hour every day (for example, four 15-minute periods) such as brisk walking, dance, games, swimming, cycling, active play or sport.
  • Get your child to choose activities that enhance and maintain muscular strength, flexibility and bone health at least twice a week, such as climbing, skipping, jumping or gymnastics.
  • Speak to your child about the importance of staying healthy and active.
  • Teach your child to be aware of dangers such as smoking, drinking, high blood pressure and stress.
  • Encourage a healthy diet daily with five fruit and vegetables in a variety of types and colours.
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