Preparing to become a Primary PE teacher

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Course introduction

The ‘Preparing to become a Primary PE teacher’ course provides a strong foundation for all primary trainees who are about to embark upon, or completing, a programme of primary initial teacher education or training (ITE) (e.g. a PGCE/PGDE/Undergraduate study). We hope this course helps prepare you to become a primary physical educator and help you to succeed in your future career.

The following 6 modules can be completed at any time either prior to undertaking your training, or alongside your course as independent learning. It should take you a maximum of 5 hours to complete and can be done in bitesize chunks or all in one go and revisited as and when you need.

  • Introduction and welcome
  • Chapter 1 – The Curriculum
  • Chapter 2 – Physical Development in Early Years Education
  • Chapter 3 – Developing knowledge
  • Chapter 4 – Fundamental movement skill learning
  • Chapter 5 – Inclusion and diversity
  • Chapter 6 – Understanding learning in Physical Education
  • Summary and course reflections

The ‘Preparing to become a Primary PE teacher’ course has been created with the Core Content Framework (CCF), Early Career Framework (ECF) and Teaching Standards (TS) in mind but most importantly it has been skilfully put together by leading Primary Physical Education Teacher Educators (PETE) who have given their time and expertise to create invaluable learning materials that will transport you to be ready and prepared for what is an intense and demanding training period.

Each lesson is fully asynchronous, meaning you can log on whenever you want to and complete the content. You can navigate the content in an order to suit your needs and revisit sections as required. On completion of all sections, you will be awarded a certificate for your professional development records.

Project authors

Dr Vicky Randall
Dr Vicky Randall is an education researcher, consultant and teacher educator with over 15 years’ experience across primary, secondary and higher education. She is a qualified teacher and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and Royal Society of Arts (FRSA). Vicky is currently an Education and Research Consultant at PE Scholar and Programme Manager for the children’s mental health charity stormbreak. She is co-founder of the Primary Physical Education Assembly (PPEA) and Convenor of the Primary Physical Education Teacher Education Network (PETEN). Vicky holds an EdD in Teacher Professional Knowledge and a MA in Educational Leadership. She has authored over 40 publications in primary physical education and is co-editor of ‘An Introduction to Primary Physical Education’ (2nd Edition) with Dr Gerald Griggs.

Dr Mark Bowler

Mark is a Principal Lecturer and Portfolio Leader for Undergraduate provision in the School of Teacher Education at the University of Bedfordshire. He is a former teacher and now teacher educator, working to support teachers in all education phases, but with a specialism in secondary physical education. Mark was previously the course coordinator for the BA (Hons) Physical Education (Secondary) (with QTS) degree, and whilst in that role designed England’s first integrated master’s degree in physical education with QTS (MPhysEd). Mark’s research and scholarly activity has several key themes: he is passionate about promoting healthy active lifestyles in children and young people; he led the development of a new pedagogical model for Health-Based Physical Education as the focus for his PhD; he researches approaches to designing and teaching the physical education curriculum. Mark has presented at national and international conferences on the Health-based Physical Education pedagogical model and has developed influential relationships with organisations including the Association for Physical Education and England Athletics in order to support the teaching workforce.

Dr Liz Durden-Myers

Liz is a physical education teacher, researcher and teacher educator with over 15 years’ of experience in education across the primary, secondary and higher education sectors. Liz is currently a Reader in Physical Literacy at Bath Spa University and a Senior Lecturer In Physical Education at the University of Gloucestershire. Liz is a qualified teacher and holds a PhD in Physical Literacy, a MA in Education, a MSc in Psychology and a BA (Hons) in Physical Education with QTS. Liz is an international speaker, passionate educator and physical activity advocate who champions the value of physical activity for life, for health, wellbeing and human flourishing.

Dr Kristy Howells
Kristy is a Reader of Sport Pedagogy, Canterbury Christ Church University, UK. She co-leads the International Association of Physical Education Early Years Special Interest Group. Her research expertise is in the fields of physical development, physical activity interventions, physical activity and mental health, as well as public health and children’s nutrition.

Ellie Huggett
Ellie is an MSc Sport and Exercise Science researcher at Canterbury Christ Church University. She is also a Year 3 class teacher and Physical Education and Health Schools Coordinator at St George’s Primary School, Wrotham, Kent.

Emerick Kaitell
Emerick is an Associate Professor at the University of Roehampton, leading on an undergraduate degree and student employability for the School of Education and with many years experience teaching Physical Education on initial teacher training BA and PGCE Primary programmes. Emerick is also a Primary School Governor, overseeing curriculum and marketing within the school. He previously taught Physical Education in Secondary education after completing his PGCE and then worked in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea School Sport Partnership programme for six years. Emerick is passionate about inclusivity and enabling all children to access Physical Education at their level and expertise. He advocates for decolonising the curriculum and is committed to working with other colleagues with similar aspirations. Outside of higher education, Emerick is a tutor for the British Triathlon Federation and sits on the British Triathlon London Regional Committee with the remit of Equity, Diversity & Inclusive agenda. He started coaching children in 1986 and continues to coach children voluntarily on Sundays for a local athletics club.

Ben Merry

Ben joined Bath Spa University in 2021 and is a Lecturer in Primary and Early Years Physical Education (PE). He leads the PGCE Primary and Early Years PE specialism. Before joining the University, Ben worked for The Football Association as a Regional PE and Coaching in Education Coordinator, providing PE training to teachers and students in Initial Teacher Education. He has also been a Behaviour Change Coordinator for Education at the national charity Sustrans, supporting young people and families to increase their levels of physical activity. As a teacher, Ben was a Senior Leader and PE Coordinator in a primary school for seven years.

Dr Julie Pearson
Julie Pearson is a teacher educator and physical education researcher with over 30 years’ experience within education across the primary, secondary and higher education sectors. Julie is a qualified teacher and a Dr of Philosophy. She is currently Course Lead for Primary PGCE (M) with a Specialism in Physical Education Programme / Senior Lecturer at St Mary’s University, London, and founder of Inclusive Primary PE consultancy company through which she supports colleagues working in PE, curriculum design and well being. Julie can be found on Twitter @Jools_CP commenting on many things, but usually about the development of a CareFULL practice, her love of cats, advocating for an educational journey that allows people to flourish, and demanding that individuals are valued for being the unique, beautiful and innate human beings there truly are.

Dr Paul Sammon
Paul is a Senior Lecturer in Physical Education at the University of Bedfordshire. Paul is a passionate teacher educator, who works with both undergraduate and postgraduate student teachers. He also leads on partnership PE-CPD within the School of Teacher Education and currently coordinates a long-standing professional learning programme for primary teachers. His research interests include promoting active lifestyles, Models-based Practice and teacher professional learning and he has both published and presented his work for national and international audiences.

Will Swaithes
Will Swaithes is an experienced teacher, teacher educator and leader of teaching and learning. With over 20 years’ experience in education, he is currently a Senior Lecturer in Physical Education at Birmingham City University leading the secondary PGCE programme whilst also contributing to Initial Teacher Education at several other institutions including Loughborough and Buckingham universities. Will is Education Director at PE Scholar, a Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) for Redhill Academy, previous Head of Physical Education and Achievement for Youth Sport Trust (YST), previous Assistant Head for Teaching and Learning and author of an OCR GCSE PE textbook. He achieved Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) status in 2006 and also holds a Masters in Educational Leadership. Will has a reputation for high-quality consultancy services, mentoring support and training with an ambition to ensure PE stands for Positive Experiences for all children in all schools.

Angela Whitehouse
Angela is a Senior Lecturer in primary physical education at Birmingham City University. Previously, she was a primary teacher working across different school settings within Birmingham, and a subject leader for PE throughout this time. Angela has worked within local and national networks authoring and delivering continuous professional development within school and ITE settings. She is co-founder of PE at Home, which supported schools and families with home learning PE resources during the Covid-19 pandemic and ProActive PE, which provides web-based PE resources for primary practitioners.

Dr Sarah Williams
Sarah is a primary trained teacher and teacher educator with over 25 years’ experience within education across the primary, secondary, special and higher education sectors. She is a Principal Lecturer and Deputy Head of Area within the Primary and Early Years ITT programme at Sheffield Hallam University. Sarah is a qualified teacher, holds an Educational Doctorate, a Masters in Sports Development and a BA in Primary Education. Her research interests include education, physical education, teacher socialisation, leadership in primary schools and physical activity in primary schools. She has specific expertise in teaching pedagogy, teacher professional development and the primary PE curriculum. Sarah is a passionate about the place and value of physical education within the curriculum and creating inclusive and meaningful experiences for all children.

Peer Review

Dr Julia Lawrence is an Assistant Professor in Education at Northumbria University and has taught on and led initial teacher education provision across a number of universities. Her PhD focused on the transition from Primary to Secondary School in Physical Education. Throughout her career, Julia has focused on the teaching of physical education and teacher development, both nationally and internationally, most recently as Visiting Fellow to the Academy of Singapore Teachers. She is a validator for the Association of Physical Education Quality Mark and has previous sat on the board of Physical Education UK (now afPE). Her publications focus on the areas of physical education, teacher education and mentoring, across both Primary and Secondary phases. She is an author, co-editor and series editor for Routledge and Sage Publications.

Course Content

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Course Includes

  • 8 Lessons
  • 34 Tasks
  • 6 Quizzes
  • Course Certificate
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