Physical Education Aim
We aim to give all pupils at Welcombe Hills School a broad and varied curriculum that covers as many different aspects of sport as possible. The opportunities that they have help and encourage them to be more confident, enjoy physical activity and nurture a sense of team spirit and belonging.
Physical Education Policy
Welcombe Hills School believes that physical education, experienced in a safe and supportive environment, is vital and unique in its contribution to a pupil’s physical and emotional development and health. The physical education curriculum aims to provide for pupils’ increasing self- confidence through an ability to manage themselves successfully in a variety of situations. A balance of individual, team, co-operative and competitive activities aim to cater for individual pupil’s needs and abilities. The scheme of work is based on progressive learning objectives, which, combined with varied, and flexible teaching styles, endeavour to provide appropriate, stimulating, challenging and enjoyable learning situations for all pupils. The scheme aims to promote an understanding of the many benefits of exercise, through a balanced range of relevant activities.
To meet national targets for PE each child is entitled to and receives a minimum of 2 hours of PE per week.
In Foundation and Key Stage 1 pupils follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum – Physical Development and we aim to build on the child’s natural enthusiasm for movement and provide them with opportunities to acquire basic games skills such as throwing, catching and kicking a ball. They start to become aware of other pupils and begin to play alongside and with each other. Pupils are also given opportunity to participate in dance and gymnastic activities that have been adapted to suit individual needs.
In Key Stage 2 pupils follow a four-year rolling programme. We build on the skills that have been acquired in Key Stage 1. They are taught games, gymnastics and dance in class groups for 1 hour weekly. Lessons aim to help pupils acquire and develop new skills as well as encouraging them to develop the ability to play in a team game, develop agility and be creative. Pupils may also participate in extra activities e.g. visiting dancers or sports coaches.
Pupils in Key Stages 3 and 4 follow a rolling programme of activities in PE and we work on consolidating games skills in preparation for sporting events against other special schools. Pupils may also participate in extra activities e.g. visiting dancers or sports coaches.
Pupils in the 6th Form are encouraged to participate in sporting activities that are more age appropriate and that they may want to carry on with out of school and when they leave us. Activities include tennis, walking, running, playing golf and gym and fitness activities at Stratford Leisure Centre.
Swimming at Welcombe Hills School is very successful. Every child from Year R to Year 11 is given the opportunity to swim at Stratford Leisure Centre if it is appropriate for them. They are taught by ASA qualified swimming instructors and we follow the National Teaching Plan for Swimming. Younger pupils who cannot achieve the criteria set out in the first badges of the National Teaching Plan are encouraged to work towards achieving the criteria set out in the ASA Alpha scheme. This is a set of badges designed especially for pupils with special needs. This is very important for our younger pupils as they love to receive badges and certificates and it encourages them to continue trying. As soon as they are able pupils transfer on to the National Teaching Plan and work their way through the badges. Pupils in Key Stage 4 are given the opportunity to gain basic personal survival skills and life saving skills.
Sherborne Movement is a way of teaching PE to children with PMLD and ASD. It combines movement, interaction and cooperation, and focuses particularly on the following 2 areas;
1. Awareness of Self
This is gained through movement experiences that help the pupil concentrate so that they become aware of what is happening to their body, listening via touch and by feeling of inner physical sensations rather than by our usual way of looking and thinking.
2. Awareness of others
The next step is to begin to learn to move around and interact with others in ways that encourage the further development of trust and the building of positive relationships. These movement experiences enable the person to be appropriately supported while being encouraged to explore their unique creativity through shared movement activities.
The children work 1:1 with an adult and have a focused session. Each child has objectives for each session, which the adult working with him/her is aware of, and will assess. We do rocking, stretching, massage, mat work and work with tunnels and blankets.
The children work through the same sequence of exercises each session, so they begin to anticipate what happens next. We have experienced brilliant long term progress by this method, for example, children who wouldn’t tolerate an activity at the beginning of a year, will happily do this towards the end.
Rebound therapy is use of trampolines in providing therapeutic exercise and recreation for people with a wide range of special needs. Participants range from mild to severe physical disabilities and from mild to profound and multiple learning disabilities, including dual sensory impairment and autistic spectrum. Rebound Therapy is used to facilitate movement, promote balance, promote an increase or decrease in muscle tone, promote relaxation, promote sensory integration, improve fitness and exercise tolerance, and to improve communication skills. The diversity that the Rebound programme offers has allowed us to include a growing number of pupils in lessons. Primarily it is offered to pupils with significant movement difficulties and the sensation of being on the trampoline often relaxes their muscles and gives them the opportunity to experience the freedom of movement that they don’t get in the confines of a wheelchair. Pupils enjoy the fun element of the trampoline and very often are not aware that they have completed their exercise programme.
At Welcombe Hills, children who require Rebound therapy have a session once a week with a trained therapist. They will be working on objectives set at the beginning of term by the therapist, in conjunction with the class teacher and Physiotherapists (as appropriate).
There are 5 fully trained Rebound Therapists in school and 2 of these have had advanced training which enables us to push our more physically able pupils further and hopefully lead them towards gaining formal trampoline certificates.
We are lucky to have Karen Van-Hill who is a level 4 trampoline coach on our staff who takes weekly Rebound Therapy and trampoline sessions with pupils from across the school. These sessions help pupils with many basic skills such as listening, sequencing, working together and keeping each other safe. Pupils are also taught basic skills that lead towards their British Gymnastics Trampoline awards. All pupils are encouraged to work and achieve their full potential. Many pupils have progressed onto the more advanced levels and can perform quite complicated sequences. We are now the proud owners of 2 trampolines thanks to Karen which means that more pupils can benefit from working with her.
At Welcombe Hills we place great importance on the physical fitness of our pupils. We have a fitness suite that hosts a variety of cardiovascular machines as well as a Kinesis station which offers a safer method of resistance training for our students. The Fitness suite is open to pupils from Year 6 upwards and they are encouraged to use the gym on a regular basis. Each pupil has a programme designed for them to suite their individual needs and our aim is for pupils to be able to access the equipment independently and follow their own programme. Some pupils complete their physiotherapy exercises in the fitness suite under the supervision of a Physiotherapist. We try to as much as possible to run the fitness studio as a proper gym environment, whereby the students are given towels at the start of their sessions and encouraged to wipe down the machines after use as in a commercial gym. The secondary students are also given their own workout plans, which details what settings the machines should be on for them, as well as space for them to record the amount of calories burnt, or distance rowed etc. This is to give the students more independence in the fitness studio, so they become familiar with setting the machines and they are also encouraged to try and identify themselves if they feel that they are ready to progress on to the next levels. The fitness studio is also used by our more exuberant students as a means for them to expend their excess energy in a fun and productive manner so that they are then better able to focus when back in class.