Physical education is an important part of the primary curriculum and one that provides unique challenges for those involved with its teaching. This book offers a balanced and comprehensive overview of the subject, covering issues such as safe practice in PE, inclusion, subject leadership, and cross-curricular approaches supported by an accessible theory-informed approach. The Second Edition includes: • Links to the new National Curriculum in England • Each chapter mapped against the Teachers’ Standards • A new chapter on physical literacy and development in the early years and primary ages • A new chapter on health-focused education and the contribution of PE • Added case studies in every chapter • Enhanced coverage of assessment in PE This book includes a companion website with additional resources! This book includes a companion website with additional resources!

Why Physical Education?

Why Physical Education?

Chapter aims

  • To define physical education
  • To develop an understanding of the role and benefits of physical education
  • To provide opportunities for you to reflect upon your personal experiences of physical education
  • To develop an understanding of changes in physical education over the last century

Links to Teachers’ Standards

In working through this chapter, you should develop your knowledge associated with the Teachers’ Standards (Department for Education, 2011) detailed in Table 1.1.


For many of us, our experiences of physical education have shaped the way we feel towards the subject. At times during your schooling, you probably questioned why you had to do the subject at all, especially when it was too cold, raining or too hot! For some of you, it was more about the ...

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