Physical Literacy Overview

This is a presentation I created to provide an overview of how we as a PE department could nurture and promote physical literacy. It has been well received by my department and partner schools and attempts to create a strategy for promoting physical literacy.


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  1. A very good framework for an overview of Physical literacy. Difficulties arise with the discrepancy between the information passed on from primary schools to the secondary school progression and utilising it effectively. Standardisation of levels within key stages is not consistent, and then of course there is a drop out of girls post 16, as opposed to boys. I am presently trying to map the physical education experience of pupils through from key stage 3 and 4 and possibly to 5, but the difficulty i have is the first half term is therefore, to a certain extent used as an assessment vehicle as no inform ation has been passed form primary schools. A fantastic idea, but how do we overcoem the shortfalls?

  2. Hi Nick,

    Thank you for your comments.

    I completely agree that communication between secondaries and primaries needs improving and in general shortfalls are experienced during transitional points between all key stages. There is a clear need for a physical education framework to be designed and implemented across schools and key stages to reduce overlap and improve the communication process. Curriculum and assessment mapping is essential across key stages to ensure continuity and progression. But even with this ideal framework in place, the quality of teaching and learning and ensuring the framework is followed will be a challenge as well as accurate and timely models of assessment, moderation of NC levels and communication across transitional points.

    I am currently working on developing a physical literacy assessment tool for use within KS3 that maps assessment and experiences across the three years. I aim to use this as a starting point from which KS4 and KS2 mapping will evolve. I will let you know how I get on when it is complete. In the meantime please keep me updated with your work, as I think we may be able to share some ideas and it is interesting to see how other PE professionals are approaching this area. Good luck with your mapping.

    Kind regards,

  3. Hi Liz,
    I am new to PE scholar and very impressed with your overview. I am curious what you think of the Colorado State Standards. They are set up different from your framework and have very specific expected student outcomes. Because I only teach elementary I can’t address Nick’s point on how well students transfer information between elementary and middle school. Although there are some gaps and seemingly unnecessary repetition, I have found that within k-5 the spiraling of concepts works. I would be interested to know your opinion

    1. Hi Lynn.

      Thank you for your comments.

      The Colorado State Standards are great for framing learning. We have a similar framework within the UK in the form of Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTs), please see

      This type of framework is key for physical education, as we need to stress that our profession is not simply exercising the body as a machine, focussing on getting students more active for longer, but instead, that we develop holistic learners with the emotional and cognitive intelligence to become effective members of society. The Colorado State Standards are unique in that they promote interconnectivity between standards which is another key element in creating a joined-up curriculum.

      I do think that repetition will always be a problem unless the curriculum is mapped from beginning to end, ensuring that all the key processes are assessed in equal measure. For me, curricula are generally more successful when they are process and not outcome driven. Asking the fundamental questions such as what do you want students to learn, and why do you want them to learn it, is required in order to create a curriculum fit for purpose. There is definitely some good practice that can be taken from the Colorado State Standards, but we need to ensure there is a correct balance between emotional/cognitive skill development and movement competencies.

      I would be keen to hear your reflections on my thoughts?

      Kind regards,