Secondary PE Concept Curriculum (for KS3/KS4)


A complete Physical Education Concept Curriculum for Key Stage 3 & 4 that explores big ideas and cross-cutting themes through physical education; a contemporary approach to curriculum design.

This fully-editable package contains 19 carefully constructed learning schemes for Years 7-11, comprising 114 detailed lesson plans.

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SKU: PECC34V2 Category:


Time for change

PE has an opportunity like never before to re-examine how we get every child off to the best possible start and lay the foundations for a physically active life. For far too long students (and others) have been put off physical activity because of sport-driven, technique focused and performance obsessed PE lessons. It’s time to change! PE is in a unique position in that it can directly influence the health and well-being of an individual for the rest of their lives. We can deliver relevant and meaningful learning that will better prepare them for life and promote positive attitudes towards physical activity.

What is a concept curriculum?

A concept is a powerful idea that can replace a performance focused objective and therefore enable all to succeed in their own way. Students can develop intra and inter-personal skills, gain a better understanding of their body and minds as well as explore the world around them, all through conceptual learning and engaging physical activity. The sport and physical activity become the vehicle for which the concept is delivered and no longer the final destination. Delivered alongside engaging and meaningful physical activities, a concept curriculum can better enable an inclusive environment to ensure that PE also stands for Positive Experiences.

By introducing a conceptual learning objective, we are offering an inclusive hook to students that might previously have felt alienated by a less relevant or achievable lesson focused solely on acquiring or replicating a sporting skill or technique. PE is not just sport and sport is not just skills, techniques, rules and competition. It is important to note that conceptual learning does not replace the physical or competency development of a PE lesson. It is time we looked to harness the full power of sport and physical activity to deliver a more meaningful and positive learning experience.

We believe this Concept Curriculum can do just that.

Why adopt a concepts approach?

A conceptual approach offers an alternative to the traditional sport and skills-based approach to physical education curriculum design and delivery. The sport and physical activity becomes the vehicle through which the concept is delivered and developed.

By shifting the focus of the curriculum and success criteria of each lesson, we are doing so much more than getting students active, we are teaching relevant life skills, developing stronger connections to physical activity and improving the experiences within PE for every child.

The evidence

  • Only 51% of students strongly agreed to enjoying sport (Sport England, 2019)
  • 1 in 10 children suffer with a mental health disorder (MHF, 2019)
  • 47.7% of young people met the Chief Medical Officers recommendation of 60 minutes physical activity per day (Sport England, 2019).
  • 88% of businesses believe school leavers are not prepared for work (British Chamber of Commerce, 2014).
  • 38% of secondary schools had cut PE lesson time to allow more time for more ‘academic’ subjects like English and Maths. (YST, 2018)
  • Only 10% of students are considered to be ‘Sports Enthusiasts’ (Sport England, 2017). The remaining 90% are not solely motivated by competitive sport.

Why not?

PE has an opportunity like never before to re-examine what our has to offer.

33% of students have poor body confidence (Youth Sport Trust, 2019), so let’s teach self-esteem and self-worth. 92% of students suffer from exam stress, so coping skills, resilience and mental health units are a must.

Inactivity and childhood obesity are higher than ever, so planning and delivering units of work on diet and long-term benefits of physical activity are essential.

Competition for jobs is tougher now so why not teach employability skills, leadership, communication and interpersonal skills?

A concept is a powerful idea that can replace a performance focused objective and therefore enable all to succeed in their own way.

As physical educators, how can we leave physical education in a better place than we found it? What is going to be our legacy?

Physical Education Concept Curriculum

The resources have been designed to work alongside existing sport/activity schemes of work and each unit, comprising of 6 lessons, can be delivered in the order the teacher decides best work with the practical activity.

Depending on how the hours of PE are allocated within your school, the method of delivery can vary. If you have two individual hours of PE per week then this curriculum can form one hour per week. There is enough content to be delivered for a double lesson (2 hours) if required. Termly swaps, fortnightly or any other variations of delivery can also be implemented effectively. We have provided different suggestions as to how the Concept Curriculum might be delivered, which include opportunities to revisit, consolidate and practice.

We really hope this resource supports you in transforming your curriculum offer and ultimately making a bigger difference to more children and young people’s lives.

What’s included?

This resource contains the following:

  • Curriculum Map
  • Year Curriculum Road Map
  • 19 x individual units of work
  • 114 x individual lesson plans
  • Templates to create your own Concept Curriculum Unit

What’s new in version 2.0?

Since launching the original concept curriculum, used by over 300 schools globally, the enhanced PE Concept Curriculum 2.0 now includes:

  • New planning framework (L.E.A.D)
  • Inclusion of social justice
  • New lesson objectives (Know, Show and Grow)
  • Updated lesson plan formats
  • ‘Physical’ made more explicit
  • Amended and updated concepts
  • Lesson Examples
  • Suggested delivery format
  • More support to create your own
  • New lesson observation prompts and sheets

For a detailed overview of what’s in the PE Concept Curriculum package, please see the User Guide [PDF] or access the 2.0 Launch Event recording here.


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