Physical development at Merritts Brook Academy, is highly valued from the moment children begin within our EYFS phase to the day that they are ready to transition to secondary school.
Children have a right, as outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, to provision which enables them to develop their personalities, talents and abilities irrespective of ethnicity, culture or religion, home language, family background, learning difficulties, disabilities or gender. Adults understand and support each individual child’s development throughout their journey within our academy.
Staff utilise the iPEP planning tool to support sequential learning across Key Stage 1 and 2. Staff also engage with CPD, research and external links such as Aston Villa FC, King Edwards School, Bikeability and our many inspirational visitors such as Commonwealth athlete, David Smith and football freestyler, Ash Randall, who holds 22 world records.
As an academy, we are proud to have forged strong links with Shenley Academy as part of the School Games Partnership. This allows children to compete against other children across Birmingham. Our commitment to this has been rewarded with a gold school games award for the past three years.
Also, we have a wide range of extra-curricular clubs both at lunch time and afterschool which are supported by our Sports Apprentice and Play Leaders. These include: gymnastics, dance, basketball, multi skills, athletics, handball, tennis, tag rugby and football. In addition to this, KS2 pupils are given the opportunity to take part in water sports through the Big Splash in the Isle of Wight and a residential to Conkers. We are also proud to run our special events within school such as health week, Mini Olympics, half termly inter-house competitions and Soccer Aid.
As a Prime Area of learning in the EYFS curriculum, Physical Development is a fundamental part of the children’s curriculum and links to all other aspects of learning. Within Nursery and Reception, the children are supported to hold and use a range of one-handed tools with growing independence, control and co-ordination. In Nursery, we focus on building gross motor movement to support the children to form large lines and circles. As the children progress, this leads to early letter formation once they are in Reception and links to early Writing. By the end of Reception, the children will have been supported to form recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed. Children are taught to run safely, squat, climb and enjoy moving in a range of ways with growing confidence and control. We encourage the children to express themselves through movement and build the confidence to travel under, over and through objects negotiating space and changing speed.
Our young learners are taught to manage their own self-care, this includes handling and transporting equipment safely. Managing washing hands and dressing with increasing independence. We teach them the importance of making health choices in regards to exercise, eating, sleeping and hygiene.
Within Key Stage 1, children develop balance, co-ordination and agility individually and with others. Learners are encouraged to become competitive with both themselves and others in a range of increasingly challenging situations.
Our curriculum is designed to reflect and meet the needs of both our learners and the national curriculum. All children are taught to:
- master basic movements including running, jumping, throwing and catching, as well as
- developing balance, agility and co-ordination, and begin to apply these in a range of activities
- participate in team games, developing simple tactics for attacking and defending
- perform dances using simple movement patterns.
At Key Stage 2, children are given a chance to lead through a range of units including dance, gymnastics, striking and fielding, net and wall games, invasion games and target games. The following aims of the national curriculum underpin each sequence of lessons:
- use running, jumping, throwing and catching in isolation and in combination
- play competitive games, modified where appropriate [for example, badminton, basketball, cricket, football, hockey, netball, rounders and tennis], and apply basic principles suitable for attacking and defending
- develop flexibility, strength, technique, control and balance [for example, through athletics and gymnastics]
- perform dances using a range of movement patterns
- take part in outdoor and adventurous activity challenges both individually and within a team
- compare their performances with previous ones and demonstrate improvement to achieve their personal best.
Swimming and water safety
We provide swimming instruction in key stage 1 and key stage 2.
In particular, pupils are taught to:
- swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres
- use a range of strokes effectively [for example, front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke]
- perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations.