PE Insights Episode 17: Alec Masson and Will Grove – Movement at the Heart of a PE Curriculum


In the latest episode of the PE Insights podcast, Alec Mason and Will Grove share their unique journeys in the field of physical education. Alec and Will share their insights on why physical education is vital for the holistic development of students. During the podcast, Nathan Walker and his guests explore a paradigm shift in physical education, moving away from traditional sport-centric models. The focus is on prioritising movement competency, and fostering a lifelong love for physical activity. The conversation emphasises the need to revaluate existing curricula and rethink the delivery of PE.

Shared Passion for Movement

Alec and Will kick off the episode by unravelling their respective paths in the world of physical education. Alec recounts his transition from a results-driven approach in private schools to a focus on providing opportunities for student participation in state education. Meanwhile, Will reflects on a childhood shaped by a mobile lifestyle in the armed forces, leading to a deep love for sports and eventually a career in PE. Together, they shed light on their shared passion for maximum strength and conditioning, movement patterns, and their vision for the future of PE.

Professional Backgrounds

Alec has 18 years of teaching experience and oversees 14 schools, collaborating with educators to build innovative curricula. Will’s journey includes working in diverse school settings. Both educators emphasise the value of varied experiences in shaping their perspectives on physical education.

Professional Connections

Alec shares his journey into the world of Twitter, where he discovered like-minded professionals such as Nathan, aligning with his unique approach to education. Will entered the scene a bit later, finding common ground with Alec’s vision and ultimately joining forces to work on a transformative project.

The traditional approach

the traditional approach often relies on age-related expectations, potentially neglecting individual variations in biological age and physical development. This blog delves into the significance of addressing movement proficiency over chronological age and emphasises the crucial role PE teachers play in preventing disengagement from physical activities.

The Tree Metaphor: Learn to Move, Move to Learn

Alec and Will introduce a metaphorical tree representing movement, with the trunk symbolising locomotion, stabilisation, and manipulation skills. By fostering a strong foundation in basic movement skills, PE teachers can help students branch out into various activities, including sports and mindset development. This approach aims to ensure that students acquire essential movement competencies before delving into specific sports or complex tasks.

Challenging Perceived Competence

Alec and Will highlight the connection between competence and confidence, emphasising the need to challenge students’ perceived competence in their strengths and encourage exploration of different movement patterns. Practical examples, such as using unconventional equipment in sports like softball, showcase how diverse activities can challenge and enhance students’ movement skills, ultimately boosting their confidence and engagement.

The Athletic Skills Model

A pivotal turning point in Alec and Will’s perspective was the exposure to the Athletic Skills Model, a four-day course that blends theory and practice. The model, focusing on fundamental movement skills, coordinated abilities, conditions of movement, and transfer, offers a transformative approach to teaching PE. They advocate for more PE teachers to explore this model and integrate its principles into their curriculum.

Rethinking CPD

Alec and Will challenge PE teachers and educators to reassess their approach to movement in PE curricula. Acknowledging the need for continued professional development (CPD), they stress the importance of expanding fundamental movement skills beyond primary school, addressing movement deficiencies in secondary education. The goal is to create a dynamic, competence-focused PE curriculum that not only meets age-related expectations but also nurtures a lifelong love for physical activity and movement.

Physical Competency Over Sports Specialisation

Sports specialisation often neglects the development of fundamental movement skills. By embedding movement principles in the curriculum, educators can aim to empower students with versatile skills applicable across various sports and activities. The goal is to create a foundation that transcends specific sports, making physical competency the primary focus.

Curriculum Building with Movement Principles

The discussion underscores the importance of building a curriculum that progressively introduces and refines movement skills. Alec and Will suggest contextualising these skills within different sports, providing students with a comprehensive understanding of their applicability. They advocate for a structured approach, focusing on locomotion, stabilisation, and manipulation skills before advancing to sports-specific applications. Through contextual learning, students gain a deeper understanding of movement patterns and their transferability. Alec and will emphasise the significance of incorporating task constraints, creating scenarios where students must solve problems using a range of movement skills. This approach promotes a more profound engagement with physical activity, as students draw connections between different movement patterns and sports.

Teaching Movement Patterns Anywhere

A key takeaway is the adaptability of a movement-centric approach. Alec and Will argue that movement can be taught anywhere, requiring minimal space and equipment. By aligning the teaching of movement patterns across various contexts, educators create a collaborative environment that fosters continuous professional development and sharing of best practices.


The discussion concludes with a call to action for physical education professionals to embrace a paradigm that places movement competency at the forefront. Encouraging collaboration, the authors highlight the potential for significant positive impacts on both educators and students. The overarching message is clear: revolutionise physical education by prioritising movement, making it a dynamic and transferable skill that lasts a lifetime.

About the Guests

Today’s episode featured two incredibly passionate and knowledgeable PE teachers, Alec Masson and Will Grove.

You can connect with Will directly via X at @GrovePE17

Listen and Connect

To listen to the full episode please follow these links to Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

If you would like to be a guest on the PE Insights Podcast please reach out by contacting us here or reach out to Nathan Walker via X at @NWalkerPE

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