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National Curriculum

How does St Mary's align the PE curriculum with the National Curriculum?

The first building block of our pupils learning starts in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). As this phase of learning does not follow the National Curriculum, we have used the EYFS Statutory Framework (2023) and the guidance in the Development Matters (2023), to identify our key learning areas. We have also used MOVERS: Supporting Physical Development and Movement Play in Early Childhood (2024) to develop our strategies to encourage our children to be physically active.


The EYFS Statutory Framework comprises of seven areas of learning and development, and are all important and inter-connected. The following areas - with the specific Early Learning Goals - are ones that we have identified that most closely build the foundations for our Physical Education curriculum.

Links in PE to the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework at St Mary's

EYFS Statutory Framework

Early Learning Goals (ELGs)

Children at the expected level of development will:

What we do at St Mary's in EYFS PE lessons to build strong foundations

Physical Development:

Gross Motor Skills &

Fine Motor Skills

  1. Negotiate space and obstacles safely, with consideration for themselves and others.
  2. Demonstrate strength, balance and coordination when playing.
  3. Move energetically, such as running, jumping, dancing, hopping, skipping and climbing.
  4. Use a range of small tools, including scissors, paint brushes and cutlery.
  5. Begin to show accuracy and care when drawing.

Our EYFS PE curriculum is broadly categorised into four key areas: fundamentals, dance, gymnastics and OAA. These areas then broaden into the PE Golden Threads across KS1 and KS2.


Although the Fine Motor ELGs are not areas linked to PE, they do provide a strong foundation for hand-eye coordination. For this reason, we include props to support control and coordination in our dance unit (as recommended by MOVERS); we focus on finger positioning in our ball skills lessons; and a range of different sized 'balls' across the year (as suggested in Development Matters) to further support their fine motor development.


Personal, Social and Emotional Development:

Managing Self &

Building Relationships

  • Be confident to try new activities and show independence, resilience and perseverance in the face of challenge.
  • Work and play cooperatively and take turns with others.

We encourage children at St Mary's to do hard things.


Our PE lessons are challenging and aim to stretch our pupils' learning and development. The variety in the curriculum provides children with many new experiences and therefore the opportunity to persevere in the face of challenges. Some children will not be successful with a particular skill initially but our friendly staff offer constructive support to ensure all children continue to improve and achieve.


Our lessons promote team work and patience. Even working with a partner or in a group of other children requires patience to wait their turn. However, following the Chief Medical Officer's Physical Activity guidelines (2021), our PE lessons aim to reduce the level of inactivity and contribute to the 180 active minutes recommended for children up to the age of 5.

Expressive Arts and Design:

Being Imaginative and Expressive

  • Perform songs, rhymes, poems and stories with others, and – when appropriate – try to move in time with music.
Songs, rhymes, poems and stories are most often learned outside of our PE lessons. However, one of our Golden Threads at St Mary's - and a highly-valued aspect of the curriculum - is dance. We teach dance over two half terms, both teacher-led and coach-led, to provide the children with time to learn and consolidate their learning. Our curriculum ensures that moving in time with music is taught across the units and not left to chance - it is a vital skill for their next step into KS1.


Links in PE to the National Curriculum at St Mary's (Year 1 - Year 6)

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