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The Federation of St Mary’s Catholic Schools are a secure, friendly and faith-centred community where we seek to realise the full potential of all our family through the living love of Christ. All our work with children and their families, staff, governors, parishioners and the wider community is influenced by our core values which are: Compassion, Respect and Resilience.

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The purpose of our Arches Curriculum is to ensure that our children are successful in life and learning. The ‘Nine Arches’ Sankey Viaduct in Newton-le-Willows has been the inspiration for our curriculum.  The viaduct was built by George Stephenson between 1828 and 1830 and the bridge, built to let trains cross above the Sankey Canal, has international significance as the world’s earliest major railway viaduct still in use.

The ‘Nine Arches’ signifies excellence in engineering that is still successful.  Our curriculum is designed to show our children that our ambitious curriculum will offer them rewards for the future. As a school, our curriculum sets high expectations for each and every child, meaning that we are relentless in our commitment to overcoming barriers faced by our pupils and to developing children to be resilient and self-motivated in their pursuit of learning.

With Christ at the heart and encompassing our Mission Statement, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” we provide a high-quality education within a creative, stimulating, encouraging and mutually supportive environment where children are enabled to develop the skills they require to become successful in PE.

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Our high-quality PE lessons are ambitious and challenge our children to excel and succeed in competitive sports and other physically demanding activities. 

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Our curriculum enables our children to redefine success and begin to understand that defeat is a setback we experience but can learn from. 

We work with our children to help them explain or demonstrate helpful ways to manage emotional responses to difficulties, challenges or setbacks. 

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Our PE curriculum supports the building of character and help to embed our school values of respect, compassion and resilience.

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Developing a healthy body and healthy mind is at the heart of our PE Curriculum.

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We have a full and varied sporting calendar that provides opportunities for our children to compete in sport and other activities.

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Our PE curriculum enables our children to deepen their knowledge from other subjects such as science, maths, geography, and computing. 

Our children are taught the rules that govern the sports on our curriculum and are taught how to officiate their own games. 

There are regular opportunities to celebrate achievement through competitions. We want our pupils to have a clear understanding of the link between achieving well and having goals for the future.

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Being a sportsperson means that disciplinary and substantive knowledge complement each other harmoniously. Through the skills that are developed over time, year on year, our children are able to be competent and confident sportspeople. The children are able to use their knowledge to explain, support and develop their sporting skills in a wide range of team and individual activities.


  • Provide high quality PE lessons Ensure our curriculum is progressive and varied, building on pupils’ knowledge year by year.
  • Develop teamwork, sportspersonship and cooperation.
  • Provide supporting opportunities that go beyond the lesson e.g., Sports clubs, competitions, Intra-competition.
  • Promote PE and sport as fun.
  • All children have access to an inclusive curriculum. Support is provided for SEND children in line with other subjects and differentiation of skills when appropriate.

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VALUED - We value vocabulary in PE and it underpins everything we do.
IDENTFIED - PE and sporting vocabulary is identified by the PE subject leader and is explicitly planned for.
TAUGHT - Vocabulary is explicitly taught in every lesson. Our knowledge organisers are used as a teaching tool for key PE vocabulary and the PE medium term plans include additional vocabulary to be taught.
APPLIED - Once vocabulary is taught, it is applied. Our children apply their vocabulary constantly throughout their PE lessons. Children are expected to be able to explain clearly using the correct vocabulary.
LEARNED - Vocabulary is revisited and relearned. Vocabulary sticks in the children’s long-term memory. Lesson by lesson, year by year, children revisit and relearn key PE and sporting vocabulary.


Through an ‘explosion of experiences’, our youngest sportspeople are exposed to the foundations of their physical education. Physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives. In line with government guidance we encourage our children to be as active as possible throughout the school day, beginning with our Get Moving! sessions each morning. Carefully planned physical experiences are provided for our children within provision and in our PE lessons. PE vocabulary is explicitly planned for in our EYFS. Quality texts such as ‘My Exercise Diary’ are used to enhance children’s vocabulary. Staff are role models in demonstrating this vocabulary. Gross motor skills provide the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional wellbeing. Fine motor control and precision helps with hand-eye co-ordination which is later linked to early literacy. Staff create games and provide opportunities for play both indoors and outdoors, and support children to develop their gross and fine motor skills as well as their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility. The foundations of PE learning in EYFS are linked to Year 1 and beyond.


Both our staff and children are enthusiastic about PE. Through ongoing CPD, we strive to ensure our teachers have expert knowledge of the PE they teach. We have a range of external expert teachers who deliver some PE sessions and teaching staff view these sessions as ongoing CPD. Our pedagogy is firmly based upon our curriculum intent of embedding concepts into long-term memory so that they are able to be recalled, to ensure substantive and disciplinary knowledge and skills can be applied fluently. Lessons are effectively sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before and towards defined end points.


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We understand that we may not see the true impact of our PE curriculum on our children as our PE curriculum is just the beginning of a lifetime of learning.

Our well-constructed and well-taught PE curriculum leads to great outcomes. Our results are a reflection of what our children have learnt. A broad and balanced curriculum leads to great outcomes and meeting end points at the end of each key stage. National assessments are useful indicators of the outcomes our children achieve.

We ensure all groups of children are given the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. We strive to ensure that our children are equipped with the skills (through a growth mindset approach) to fluently be able to retrieve key facts from their semantic memory.

The quality of our children’s work, at every stage, is of a high standard. All learning is built towards an end point and at each stage of their education, we prepare our children for the next stage.

The impact of St Mary’s PE curriculum is measured through the following:

  • Pupil voice is positive and shows children both enjoy and learn well in PE lessons.
  • As sporting individuals, our children should demonstrate a teamwork, leadership and communication skills throughout their PE lessons.
  • Children respond positively to PE and sporting school-events and activities.


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