"Today’s primary children are tomorrow’s secondary school children; they are the future members of sports clubs and teams - and perhaps even the stars of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games."
(Edward Timpson, Minister of State for Children and Families, March 2015)
Physical Education is taught as a discrete subject through a range of competitive sports and games and physical education activities such as gymnastics and dance. Over the course of their school career, pupils will have the opportunity to play football, netball, hockey, tennis, cricket, basketball, rounders and take part in a range of athletic disciplines. We even play dodgeball. Children in Year 5 all have swimming lessons, taught by qualified coaches, and they take part in cycling proficiency through 'Bikeability'.
Pupils have two hours of timetabled PE each week. In addition to lessons during curriculum time, our extra-curricular offer is a good way to broaden the opportunities for our children to learn new skills and be active. Pupils have the opportunity to join one of our successful sports clubs, possibly representing the school in tournaments. We pride ourselves on offering unique sporting experiences; these include: ballroom dancing, Gaelic football, judo, cheerleading and lacrosse. Our children are taught the importance of winning and losing and the importance of competitive and team sports.
Obesity, healthy eating & physical activity
Childhood obesity is one of the pressing issues of our generation. By the start of primary school, almost a quarter of children in England are overweight or obese. This rises to over a third by the time children leave Year 6. Obesity in children starting Reception has risen for the second year in a row nationally. The government has published an obesity strategy which Ofsted report on.
Schools have an important role to play in reinforcing the importance of choices that lead to better health. At St Dominic Savio our curriculum gives children a solid body of knowledge about healthy living and the skill to pursue it. Children learn how our bodies work, why physical health is important and how to prepare food. They grow in competence in sport and physical pursuits - being active is a real enjoyment at our school. We prioritise these opportunities at lunchtimes. We have continual access to cold drinking water stations around the school building.
Provide ample opportunity for children to take physical exercise during the school day – with lots of opportunities to ‘get out of breath’
Teach particular skills like how to cook or how to dance
Update parents on their children’s physical development such as agility, balance and coordination.
School Food Plan
The government's strategy was published in 2013. All children aged 4 to 7 (Reception, Year 1 and Year 2) are entitled to free hot meals every day in England. We provide this service at St Dominic Savio.
"Healthy school meals only contribute to a healthy lifestyle if children eat them. Take-up of school food nationally remains stubbornly low, at 43%: 57% of children are not eating school lunches at all. However, eating school dinners is better for pupils and more effective economy for schools. Average take-up of school dinners needs to be at least 50% for the school food service to break even. Subsidising low take-up costs local authorities or the schools themselves £140 million a year. The government is therefore keen to encourage more parents to take advantage of school dinners.
"This state of affairs is neither desirable nor necessary. Parents currently spend almost £1 billion a year on packed lunches; persuading just a fraction of them to switch to school food would make the system solvent again (and their children healthier)."