What does ‘Good’ PE look like?

Teaching ‘Good’ PE is often seen as a topic to dread within the teaching world but with the right support and guidance this doesn’t have to be the case. The following article will give you 5 tips to improving your PE lessons.

Engaged Quickly

Generally, PE lessons are short, 60 minutes maximum but this usually includes changing time either side. Realistically we are looking at a 45-minute session once we start the session. This is why it is vital we get children engaged quickly with the starter activity, just like you might give the children a times table starter in Maths, I often set the children off with a fun starter activity, such as a chasing game, that is linked to the main session.  

This sets the session off on the right tone and can also provide you with a few minutes to set up your next activity if you haven’t had chance to do so already!

Note: I aim to get the children started on an activity within 3 minutes of them entering the lesson.


This is often a tricky one for PE Professionals to implement but we use the STTEP principle to differentiate activities:

Space: Change the space to make the area bigger or smaller.

Task: Modify the task given to the children to adjust the challenge.

Time (Sometimes grouped with task): Increase or reduce the time to complete a task or activity.

Equipment: Change, modify or alter the equipment to allow all children opportunities for success.

People: Think about how you group children in games and activities.

Note: Every activity you do can probably be differentiated using one of the above.


Improvement does not just mean becoming physically more proficient but also meeting other areas of the national curriculum outcomes such as engaging in competition, working well with others and developing a deeper understanding of healthy active lifestyles.

What does progress in PE look like? Pupils are performing against progress markers. It is important to consider what these progress markers look like over an activity, a lesson and longer term. Pupils must be aware of how they can make progress and describe and show this to others

Time on Activity

Too often do teachers waste valuable PE time by having children stood in long ques waiting to join in with the activity. This unfortunately means that teacher-led input can be as high as 70% in some PE lessons, which takes away valuable learning opportunities.

To develop and master skills children must be able to try, fail, repeat and refine. Teacher intervention should be only when necessary and to the pupils who need it. Avoid at all costs stopping the class and sitting them down to labour a point.

Before you stop the whole class, consider, is what you’re about to say or show going to add to their learning, or can they find out for themselves with a few prompts or through trial and error.

Aim for 20% teacher speak and 80% activity time. A few ways to help you achieve this are:

  • Stop small groups at a time as opposed to the whole class
  • Make your interventions short and to the point so children can get back on with their learning.
  • Utilise peer review with small groups or pairs rather than the whole class watching and feeding back, its more effective

Do you want to up skill your staff? Get in touch with our office on 01274 866 826 or email tom@primarysportsuk.com to find out more about our PE Mentoring Programme

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