In PE we aim to promote health and well-being through physical activity and physical education in an individualised way, so that all learners can make progress.

Our PE provision has many specific aims, based on the range of individual needs throughout our school. This ranges from developing muscle strength and body awareness to being a successful team play and competing in team sporting events. All of our activities take place to foster an understanding of the joy of physical activity, to build confidence and develop independence.

Where appropriate, we sequence learning in PE; for example, teaching basic ball skills before put these skills into a simple game. However, much of our learning is done in an individualised way where individual sequences are followed to support the needs of a learner. Additionally, our PE provision allows time for repetition and overlearning to meet the needs of the learners and to ensure that all can succeed. Furthermore, all students have access to a range of interventions including rebound, yoga, sensory circuits, hydro therapy, and horse riding on a referral basis. We also have our own swimming award scheme, which includes basic water safety, life skills and swimming skills and this can be accessed by all students. Students also have access to the school gym studio to build core strength, mobility and to develop life skills.

We also have a school swimming scheme that uses the British Swimming Learn to Swim scheme and water safety skills as a foundation. Pupils work through these levels at their own pace and receive certificates at the completion of each level or for individual swimming achievements.

British values are at the core of our PE curriculum. Democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance are supported through the understanding of rules, participation, competition and physical activity achievements.

Through physical activity and PE at our school, we aim to give the leaners a range of positive experiences that will enhance their lives after school. We firmly believe that giving the students a broad and balanced PE experience will help them to make positive life choices about their health and well- being after their time at Highfield Ely Academy, no matter where their starting point lies.



In the Blue Pathway, PE takes place as part of the learners’ everyday routine, rather than being taught discretely as bespoke sessions. Students access a range of PE and physical activity through music and movement, parachute games, rebound and hydro therapy, swimming, body awareness, movement changes, physio programmes, use of the playground, personal care, soft play and activity/standing aids. These are individualised for each student’s needs and delivered in a multisensory way. This individual approach aims to develop independence, core strength, mobility, movement skills, confidence, understanding and body awareness.

In the Green Pathway, pupils learn a multitude of skills and physical movements. This is taught in a more structured fashion, but also through self-directed play. Where appropriate, we learn through topics in a thematic approach, e.g. story based dances. We also learn through gross motor skill activities, simple gymnastics skills, dance, early games skills, multisensory exercises and structured and self-directed active play. As a result our PE activities, students will develop their gross motor skills and generalise these to a range of contexts. They will also make progress in their confidence in their bodies and movements, teamwork, ability to build relationships, early games skills, listening and coordination.

In the Yellow Pathway, students access bespoke PE lessons as well as exercise throughout their daily routine. PE lessons include a variety of sports focusing on balls/game skills, game rules, coordination and gross motor skills, teamwork and being a team player. Other exercise opportunities include weekly sports clubs, PE trips, the daily mile and outside break times. Our Yellow Pathway curriculum aims to develop coordination, teamwork, ability to build relationships, understanding of rules and games, understanding of exercise and its benefits, gross and fine motor skill development, independence and an understanding the importance of exercise as part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle.


Blue Pathway

Our Blue Pathway students access P.E or physical movement throughout most of their sessions across the whole school day. This may include being hoisted, freedom to make different movements, accessing inventions including hydro or rebound and through focussed sensory based sessions such as music and movement.

Examples of these include:

  • Structured sessions including music and movement, parachute games and action songs These sessions include core strength, fine and gross motor skills and experiencing big body movements either assisted or independently.

  • Interventions and therapies including individualised Rebound Therapy, Hydrotherapy, Swimming, Yoga and Physio programmes.
  • Movement and physical activity in every day routines, e.g. through position changes, hoisting and exploratory play.


Green Pathway

In the Green Pathway, PE is often but not exclusively taught through a thematic approach that relates to topics and books pupils are studying. Similar to the Blue Pathway, not all areas are covered due to the nature of the students’ needs but classes cover a broad range of areas based on their pupil’s needs. Some of the skills our Green Pathway students learn may include:

  • Fundamental movements. Students will learn fundamental skills and develop their gross motor skills. Including running with accuracy, jumping, climbing, skipping and ball skills

  • Gymnastics and Dance. Students developing their gross motor skills to using in different ways. Including travelling in different ways, balance, co-ordination, copying and sequencing basic routines and moving to music

  • Game Skills. Students learning how to participate in group games: following rules, leadership, accepting winning and losing and being a team player

  • Generalisation. Students generalising using their gross motor skills in soft play or on the playground

Yellow Pathway

Our Yellow Pathway PE lessons look similar to how they might in a mainstream setting. Students in Yellow Pathway classes get the opportunity to choose from a range of options each half term. There is also a weekly Sports Club on Friday afternoons that students can opt in to. Additionally, a range of extra-curricular activities run throughout the school year, some of which are run with help from our senior Sports Leaders.

  • Weekly PE Lessons: ball/game skills, developing sport specific gross motor skills, game rules, teamwork, winning and losing gracefully, hand/eye co-ordination and gross motor skills
  • Sports based lessons. Including learning about individual sports' rules and tactics such as football, rugby, basketball, hockey, swimming
  • Healthy living. Students learn about healthy lifestyles and how to keep fit. This includes healthy eating, using exercise to promote mental wellbeing

  • and how to keep our bodies fit and strong


Sporting Tournaments with other Special schools

Staff vs Students annual football match

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