Rivers Academy PE department hopes to provide a broad and balanced curriculum that encourages lifelong participation in both sport and physical activity. We hope to educate our students about nutrition and a healthy balanced lifestyle, striving to encourage our students to maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle.


Physical Education at Rivers Academy West London offers a broad and balanced curriculum that provides pupils with a wide ranging experience of sport and health related fitness activities. The department realises that all pupils are individuals and tailors its provision accordingly in order to engage, challenge and include pupils of all sporting abilities. Our delivery varies between both competitive and non competitive sports, encouraging students to build confidence and self-awareness through a practical and engaging environment. We strongly believe that PE and sport should be the cornerstone of a pupil’s social and personal development. Team work, resilience, communication and dedication are promoted in all PE lessons and used as a vehicle to encourage pupils to use these virtues in their academic subjects and outside of Rivers Academy.

In order to develop these future skills we feel there has to be a large amount of transdisciplinary learning within our lessons and utilise all opportunities to develop cross-curricular learning. This is factored throughout all year groups. We integrate theory components whilst teaching all sports, where we use practical teaching environments to engrain and support studies learnt in alternative subjects. These theory components also link directly to the Cambridge National in Sports Science course which we offer to students at Key Stage Four.


These engaging sports review a variety of transferable skills that would benefit performance within a variety of sports. These fundamental motor skills underpin almost all sports and can include things like hand-eye-coordination and running/jumping. This is supported with the theory components, which enables students to understand how to participate safely in the future. It also gives an insight into our human anatomy and physiology and how we measure levels of fitness. These theory components correlate directly to the cambridge national specification and provide stepping stones into other subjects such as science.

Within year 8 we review the same sports as in year 7, however instead of looking at the skills students are learning, we enrich their learning by enveloping them into the world of strategies and tactics. They begin exploring the logical process behind attack and defense and learn the different strategic approaches that can be used. The theory component supporting this scheme of learning is muscular systems. This involves students learning the names of muscles and how they work to ensure our bodies are able to move. This coincides with the Science Department and supports their learning through a practical approach. 

For year 9 we will build upon more social skills that will support students in the future. It looks at asking students to compete in a variety of sports they have not played before to encourage teamwork and emotional maturity. Our main areas for individual development are: self confidence, communication skills and personal resilience. This is then supported by asking students to look at one sporting debate and consider both sides of the argument. This reinforces the English Department and helps students appreciate other people’s perspectives.  

Year 10 students are provided the option of 4 different sports for each term, they then choose which they would like to participate in for the whole term. This is to ensure students are aware of the importance of physical activity for their health and have the opportunity to partake in a variety of sports throughout the year. It is to encourage life-long participation and support enjoyment of Sport at a recreational level.

Cambridge National

This course is the equivalent of a GCSE and is awarded at Pass, Merit and Distinction level.  The course reviews a variety of topics, however, reducing the risk of injury is the exam unit being taught during our Autumn Term. Students will be sitting the exam in January, meaning all teaching will be focussed upon this exam. The unit enriches understanding of human anatomy and delivers a variety of preventatives to reduce the likelihood of injury in sport.



  • Curriculum 
Key Stage Three – Year 7 and 8

In year 7 and 8 pupils are provided with a learning experience that is designed to develop their practical performance, knowledge of key concepts and lay the foundations for life long healthy lifestyle choices. Pupils participate in a wide range of both team and individual sports with an emphasis on improving their own personal levels of fitness, sporting technique and game performance. Practical PE lessons at Rivers Academy West London work on both challenging and engaging all students, making sure students leave each lesson with a sense of accomplishment and belonging. 

In addition to the practical elements of the Key Stage 3 PE curriculum, pupils also develop their wider understanding of how practical participation in PE lessons relate to anatomy and physiology and training methods. This is delivered through practical lessons and knowledge is assessed on a half-termly basis. This is delivered in order to broaden understanding and stimulate pupil curiosity and love of the subject.

Key Stage Three – Year 9 

Within Year 9 students are exploring the ‘Teaching Games for Understanding’ (TGFU) approach. It is an approach developed at Loughborough University by Bunker and Thorpe in 1982, which reviews students’ inherent desire to play. It allows students to experience a variety of alternative sports that they may never have had the opportunity to play before. The year 9 ‘Games for Understanding’ approach creates a deep knowledge of the subject and assists pupils to acquire the skills, knowledge and resilience needed to become successful, well-rounded individuals.

This approach enriches a well-rounded experience in a variety of sports where pupils are challenged to think about every aspect of physical education. In addition to practical sport lessons pupils also experience a thought provoking theory element that encourages students to consider a variety of perspectives surrounding Physical Education. Students are required to create and present their opinions surrounding a variety of debatable topics surrounding sport; including questions like ‘Is VAR supporting or hindering the development of Sports?’ and ‘Should Rugby players wear protective equipment?’. These types of questions develop analytical perspectives and support their ability to articulate arguments, as well as their ability to deliver opinions and ideas. 

Key Stage Four – Years 10 and 11
  • Core PE

Pupils who have not opted for a formal PE and Sport qualification continue to participate in Core PE lessons. Students have the opportunity to choose their sporting route depending upon personal preference. This allows students to gain depth within their sporting choice and envelop themselves in the sport of their choice. The department has a “sport for all” outlook with bespoke lessons delivered to pupils dependent on their sporting ability and confidence. ‘Core PE’ is delivered at both Key Stage Three and Four where we focus on the promotion of life-long health, fitness and participation. 

Cambridge National in Sports Science

The Cambridge National in Sports Studies course has a different structure to GCSE PE and is ideally suited to those pupils who have an interest in sports coaching, fitness and health and ideal prevention of sports injury. It is assessed through external examination and coursework, developing revision skills and personal ability to articulate and argue alternative perspectives. The course is vocational and is an excellent foundation for pupils wishing to study post 16 vocational qualifications such as BTEC Level 3 in Sports Science or Cambridge Technical Sports Science. The vocational elements within the course are explored through each learning brief to give real life scenarios which pupils can base their work on.

Beyond the Classroom

In order to continue to tailor our subject to each individual, we at Rivers Academy offer an extensive extra-curricular programme. This is open to all students and gives individuals the opportunity to compete competitively against other schools within our district. We also compete internally within the school. All of these sporting events allow students to gain points towards Rivers Academy Olympics. Rivers Academy Olympics occurs once a year and requires the participation of both students and staff. All students participate in seven different athletics events and compete against others in different faculties. It is a perfect opportunity for students to understand that they are an important part of our school and revel in the sense of belonging they are exposed to.


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