Physical Education is a vital and integral part of school life at The Redway. Each child receives a minimum of 2 sessions of PE each week (1 session is swimming whilst the other is a physical activity appropriate to the needs and capabilities of the individual).
Physical Education is carefully planned to cover a wide range of activities across the year, the children have the opportunity to explore activities, sports and therapies within their PE lessons. Where appropriate we also link the activities to the departments topics for each term (Rainforests, Elements, The Weather for example).
One of the key activities included in our planning is Rebound Therapy. This appears on our Long Term Map for a minimum of three half term blocks across a six block year (the PMLD curriculum has specific Rebound lessons where the children Rebound throughout the entire year).
It is a hugely important area for our children, a session where all children get the opportunity to get out of their wheelchairs (if applicable) and experience almost total freedom. Rebound Therapy can be adapted to the individual child and can be a gentle rock whilst being supported by another adult right through to independent skills such as seat drops.
Some of the benefits of Rebound Therapy are:
- Freedom of movement
- Muscle Tone/core strengthening
- Body Awareness
- Builds Trust
- Increases Confidence
Rebound Therapy also supports several body systems; it helps to stimulate the Digestive System, improves Bowel Function and helps to clear Toxins. For children with weakened respiratory systems it can also help to clear secretions.
We are fortunate to have our own Hydrotherapy Pool which allows each child one swim session per week. Depending upon Physiotherapy needs some children will at times access a second session via our Physio team. Our pool is warm and shallow which means it is an ideal environment for many of our children to relax and stretch, increasing range of movement at their joints. For the younger children it is a great opportunity for them to gain water confidence and we focus on basic skills such as blowing bubbles (if appropriate) and splashing and playing games to develop skills. We follow the STA Rockhopper swimming scheme (a specialised scheme accessible to our pupils) which focuses on children developing a selection of different skills at each level.
Some of our older and more able children access swimming in local public pools as this is a more suitable sized pool for them to use. We have enrolled onto the MK Council School swimming scheme to enable our most able children to access more formal swimming lessons and develop their independent swimming skills and strokes.
While these two areas of the curriculum feature very heavily in each child’s timetable, we also plan to incorporate a broad range of other activities. The main aim is to develop each child’s physical potential as well as develop body awareness, relaxation strategies and confidence, all whilst having fun.
During the year the children will follow a programme that includes Dance and Gymnastics activities (This can include Dance Massage, Tac Pac if appropriate). We also explore Games activities (Football, Rugby, Tennis, general ball skills and target practice). In general we are aiming for the children to develop hand-eye coordination and gross/fine motor skills as well as building stamina, balance and muscle development.
Our pupils also take part in a range of School Sports Partnership Festivals where local schools come together to participate in organised skills activities and adapted games, it is a great opportunity for our children to work alongside children from other local schools. These are run by the Sports Leaders and Students from the local colleges and have proved to be a positive experience for all those involved.
In the summer months when the weather is better we focus our attention on Outdoor Adventurous Activities and Athletics Activities. This is a really exciting area of the curriculum and includes Healthy Living Week. The children have the opportunity to access activities off-site. We like to incorporate trips to The Caldecotte Xperience, Planet Ice, The Snowdome as well as local parks and playgrounds. We have a range of accessible bicycles which the children can use either in the playground until they gain enough confidence to take them out on trips out into the community. Recently we have adapted some bigger two wheeled bikes and made balance bikes out of them to encourage some children to progress towards independent cycling.
During our Sports Day’s we plan a wide range of activities, some of which are athletics and some of which are more sensory and therapy based, it is an opportunity for the whole school to come together and celebrate physical activity and all that it can encompass.
The opportunities in Physical Education for assessment are broad. We use the P-Scales, Routes for Learning and Early Years Foundation Stage Frameworks, and use our online Evidence App to document the children’s achievements. It is a really easy way to show evidence of progress (no matter how small or large) for the children and can be done as things happen.