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SEND within the PE Curriculum

Children have special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.

Children have a learning difficulty if they:

(a) have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age;


  (b) have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age.

Quality First approaches are used to enable all children to access the PE Curriculum.  At St Philip’s we ensure that all of our children with SEND have the entitlement to broad, balanced and relevant PE teaching.  All teaching and support staff are aware of the National Curriculum Inclusion Statement, and with advice from and the support of the SENCO, class teachers match the learning objectives to the needs and abilities of individual pupils. They use a range of strategies to develop the pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills including the use of ICT. Where appropriate, materials/equipment is modified or support is provided to enable pupils with SEND to access the learning or the assessment processes.

 Our PE curriculum

  • Encourages pupils to enjoy learning and prepares them for life as a long-term goal
  • Uses pathways and specialist approaches with clear purpose
  • Is age-appropriate and responsive to pupils' specific needs, with targets from pupils’ SEND support plans or education, health and care (EHC) plans
  • Considers parents' priorities for pupils
  • Includes targets set by other professionals, such as speech and language therapists or occupational therapists 
  • Promotes literacy, numeracy and good communication at all times)

Leaders make sure that the PE curriculum and individual lessons include activities and tasks that are very closely matched to the needs of all pupils. 

Wherever appropriate children with SEND access discreet subject knowledge and have clear subject specific learning objectives that are planned in a progressive and cohesive way.

In PE, the use of the STEPS process is used to adapt activities within the lesson to enable all children to be included.  For example, if the child has a Physical Disability and they are competing in an Athletics obstacle race it is important that they can complete the course in the same way as the rest of the class with the chance to succeed.  The team that they are part of may have a shorter distance to complete the course, all children in that team might have lower or different obstacles, the number of people in their team might be fewer and therefore giving them more time to complete the relay or a TA might be there to support the child over certain obstacles.





PE vocabulary lists – Display vocabulary, revise and learn new PE words appropriate to unit.  Look back at previous year groups. 

Photographs of the children performing skills that they can then evaluate and use to improve.

Allow thinking time before requiring answers 

Short and clear instructions.

Repetition of warm-up activities that require different skills so activities are familiar.

Clear lesson structure (warm-up, skills, application and cool down)

Positive prompts to reinforce good practise.

Allow children to demonstrate their performance.




Provide good examples of what is expected when teaching a skill.  For example, show a video example of a good forehand in tennis.

Working in pairs or small groups of mixed ability to evaluate skills being learned and applied.

 Learning objectives alongside success criteria so children know what they are working towards.

Repeat instructions and allow time for children to ask questions.

Allow children additional time to practise a skill previously taught.

Allow children to ‘escape’ to quiet area when anxious, angry or stressed.

Use pupil’s strengths to motivate them.

Clear lesson structure so they know when the ‘Start’ and ‘finish’ of the PE lesson is.

Consider where children are sitting when watching the development of skills.  For example, they may be given their own space to sit and watch demonstrations.

Clear teaching points for skills.

Give pupil a clear job to do.  For example, giving everyone a tennis ball to go on their racquet.



Allow the child to play hold and move a ball between hands whilst you are talking.

Limit the time they are waiting.  For example, the TA could explain the activity before the lesson so they already know what they are doing. 

Small group activities so the child gets more turns and is therefore not stood around waiting.

A variety of tasks that are broken done into steps.

Allow the use of headphones when it is safe to do so in the lesson.

Small group to work with TA on the same skills to avoid them being ‘overpowered’ by others.

Immediate feedback and rewards.



Use of STEPS (SPACE, TASK, EQUIPMENT, PEOPLE) to enable the PE curriculum to be accessed.

For example, a lighter tennis racquet, or ball with bell.

Use of peer/TA to relay instructions that are given.