Teaching Primary Physical Education


Julia Lawrence

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  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Education at SAGE

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    About the Author

    Dr Julia Lawrence has worked in initial teacher education for over ten years and is currently based at Leeds Metropolitan University. She has previously taught in Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

    Julia has contributed to a number of textbooks associated with supporting those training to work in the education profession, both in physical education and the wider teaching context.

    Her research focuses on pupils’ experiences of physical education in particular during the transition from primary to secondary school, as well as trainee teachers’ experiences of initial teacher education.


    Teaching Primary Physical Education provides both theoretical and practical perspectives on teaching physical education in primary schools. The clear presentation and well argued positions covered in the book should help teachers in the primary school to develop their understanding of the subject and hence become reflective practitioners in relation both to their work in this curriculum area and to the contribution physical education can make to the education of primary school children. This critically reflective stance should enable them to improve their practical day-to-day teaching of the subject as well as have the confidence and understanding to take on leadership roles in physical education, arguing for its unique and significant place in the curriculum.

    This is a particularly valuable text as little has been written on the philosophy underpinning physical education in the primary school. Most recent research, debate and text books about physical education centre on secondary education. There are a number of reasons for this, including the fact that physical educationists involved in secondary school are specialists who have followed an in depth study of the subject, whilst there are very few teachers in the primary school who have specialist knowledge of the subject area. Primary teachers are, in the main, generalists who have to cover the whole curriculum. These teachers have had minimal time to reflect on physical education on account of the multiple demands on their time in training and in school. Regrettably this lack of training has resulted in lack of knowledge of the movement and its importance in the all-round education of the child.

    This leaves the impression that physical education in the primary school is of less importance than that in the secondary school. This is far from the truth. Physical education in the primary school is the critical foundation for work at secondary level and can establish attitudes to involvement in physical activity that can persist throughout life. There is an urgent need for scholarly work in the area of physical education in the primary school to enhance the teaching and standing of the subject. I therefore welcome this book in adding to the literature available on physical education in primary schools.

    SusanCapel Professor and Head of School of Sport and Education, Brunel University


    The teaching of physical education in primary schools has always be debated and questioned. Proposed changes to national curricula and continuing debates around physical activity and healthy active lifestyles suggest that a rise in the importance of physical education as a core subject may be just round the corner. This book provides an overview of key aspects associated with the development and delivery of effective physical education experiences.

    Chapters 1, 2 and 3 provide a theoretical perspective on physical education looking at not only a rationale for the inclusion of the subject within education, but also a review of theories of learning and development associated with the subject as well as the range of teaching approaches that can be used to create effective learning opportunities.

    The diverse nature of pupils is explored in Chapter 4 where consideration is given to providing learning opportunities reflective of the needs of all pupils. This is supported by Chapter 5 which covers the health and safety aspects of delivery.

    Chapter 5, 6 and 7 look at the development of specific skills through physical education building from the development of basic motor competences to the skills associated with physical education.

    Chapter 8 draws together the previous chapters by looking at how the concepts and activities explored are integrated and reflected in the planning process.

    Chapters 9 and 10 explore education in the contribution of physical education to the wider curriculum and cross-curricular themes, as well as links to the wider community. To conclude, Chapter 11 looks at how you might develop as a subject leader within physical education.

    Throughout the book practical activities, case studies and extended readings provide you with an opportunity to reflect upon your own learning and development, while materials available from the companion website provide further support. This can be found at http://www.sagepub.co.uk/lawrence and by clicking on the Sample Materials tab.

    Companion Website

    Support materials for Chapter 2

    • Examples of resource cards

    Support materials for Chapter 3

    • Sport Education

    Support materials for Chapter 4

    • Behaviour management strategies
    • Keywords for areas of activities
    • Differentiation strategies

    Support materials for Chapter 5

    • Activity specific websites
    • Warming up and cooling down activities
    • Entering and exiting pools
    • Examples of risk assessments

    Support materials for Chapter 6

    • Resources for developing motor skills

    Support materials for Chapter 7

    • Resources for athletics
    • Resources for dance
    • Resources for games activities
    • Resources for gymnastics
    • Resources for swimming
    • Resources for problem solving
    • Resources for orienteering

    Chapter 8

    • Lesson planning templates

    Chapter 9

    • Promoting cross curricular themes
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