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Curriculum and Ofsted

It is well documented and widely accepted that when children are healthy they can achieve more, concentrate better, have improved academic performance and are more likely to behave and therefore learn.

Children are more engaged and interested in a topic when they are involved and taking part, not just listening. We bring a huge variety of audio, visual and kinaesthetic resources to your school that will actively engage and stimulate all the children while you can be assured that your curriculum and Ofsted boxes are being ticked! See below which curriculum objectives our different sessions meet.

See how much curriculum an A-life visit would tick:

Here are a few highlights from the National curriculum, Ofsted, Public Health England and a Government report for Physical Education.

National Curriculum 2014

The new National Curriculum in England (published 2014) places high emphasis on the teaching of what constitutes a healthy lifestyle and the impact of healthy living both now and in the future:

(Schools should prepare) “pupils…for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. and teach them “…the importance of physical activity and diet for a healthy lifestyle.

National Curriculum in England


Ofsted state that it is a schools responsibility to:

promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and prepare pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.


A summary of recent Ofsted reports also concluded that:

Higher attaining schools have greater levels of participation in physical activity and sports programmes than lower performing schools.


The Ofsted report of one London School (in W12) recently graded as ‘Outstanding’, specifically referenced the contribution of their ‘Healthy Schools Gold Award’ towards the achievement of this grade within the ‘Behaviour and Safety’ section of the report.

Students’ personal development progresses exceptionally well, as evidenced by the school’s receipt of the Healthy Schools Gold Award. Students’ self-esteem grows as their social awareness, confidence and communication skills flourish, and the students grow into positive and optimistic young people.


Public Health England

1) Report entitled: ‘The link between pupil health and wellbeing and attainment. A briefing for head teachers, governors and staff in an education setting’. (November 2014)

Their findings further evidenced the link between pupil health and wellbeing, and their academic achievements:

Research evidence shows that education and health are closely linked…So promoting the health and wellbeing of pupils and students within schools and colleges has the potential to improve their educational outcomes and their health and wellbeing outcomes.

Public Health England

Key points from the evidence were:

  • Pupils with better health and wellbeing are likely to achieve better academically.
  • Effective social and emotional competencies are associated with greater health and wellbeing, and better achievement.
  • The culture, ethos and environment of a school influences the health and wellbeing of pupils and their readiness to learn.
  • A positive association exists between academic attainment and physical activity levels of pupils.

2) A report on our children’s health by the chief medical officer of England highlighted that:

promoting physical and mental health in schools creates a virtuous circle reinforcing children’s attainment and achievement that in turn improves their wellbeing, enabling children to thrive and achieve their full potential.

Public Health England

Further evidence concluded that:

Children and young people who are aerobically fit have higher academic scores. The intensity and duration of exercise are both linked to improved academic performance, including GCSE results at age 15 and notably girls results in science.

Public Health England

3) A UK study identified that the amount of moderate to vigorous physical activity pupils engaged with at age 11 had an effect on academic performance across English, maths and science at age 11, 13 and final GCSE exam results:

  • the percentage of time girls spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity at age 11 predicted increased science scores at 11 and 16 years
  • pupils engaging in self-development activities (including sport, physical activity) achieved 10-20% higher GCSEs
  • a whole-school approach to healthy school meals, universally implemented for all pupils, has shown improvements in academic attainment at key stages 1 and 2, especially for pupils with lower prior attainment.


Government Commissioned Reports

1) Working Towards 2012 and Beyond
Prior to The Olympics 2012, the government commissioned an Ofsted report into the provision of Physical Education in Primary and Secondary schools. (͞Working towards 2012 and beyond͟). The report identified that significant improvements were required in the teaching of Physical Education and Sport in schools.

2) Beyond 2012 – An Outstanding Physical Education for All (Feb 2013)
A subsequent Ofsted report was published, following the Olympics Games of 2012.

  • The report found that there had been significant improvements in the teaching of PE and school sport following the initial report, but that there were still some improvements to be made.
  • Significant funding has been poured into school sport (primary and secondary) both after the findings of the initial report and following the Olympics of 2012.

3) Beyond 2012 – Outstanding Physical Educationfor all states:

When taught well, physical education enthuses and inspires pupils to participate fully and develop a life-long love of physical activity, sport and exercise.

Government Commissioned Reports

The inspection in 2013 reported the following findings:

  • Achievement was good or outstanding in two thirds of schools visited (great improvement on previous findings)


  • In a quarter of schools, pupils were not challenged to improve their personal fitness sufficiently. Warm-ups were too short and too easy, and were often followed by long periods of inactivity as teachers introduced the lesson.
  • Only a few schools had adapted PE programmes to suit the individual needs of obese pupils, or engaged with health agencies, parents and carers to improve the lifestyle of these pupils.
  • In primary schools, some teachers lack the specialist knowledge needed to teach PE well and outcomes for pupils are not as good as they could be.
  • More able pupils are not always challenged to achieve their very best
  • Levels of personal fitness are not high enough and not all pupils are able to swim 25 metres before they leave school.

The report continues:

Schools have a vital role to play in ensuring that all pupils remain at the heart of a successful sporting legacy left behind by the Olympic Games. Pupils must be encouraged to remain actively engaged in PE and school sport, and be helped to maintain their interest in sport outside of school by participating regularly in activities in local clubs and community sports facilities.

Government Commissioned Reports

Therefore the report recommends:
All teachers, classroom assistants and sports coaches should:

  • improve pupils fitness by keeping them physically active throughout all lessons and engaging them in regular, high-intensity vigorous activity for sustained periods of time
  • raise their expectations of what more able pupils are capable of achieving and provide them with challenging, competitive activities that lead to high standards of performance
  • apply agreed schemes of work and assessment procedures consistently so that all teaching is at least good.

The government recommend that pupils receive 2 hours PE and school sports each week.

Two hours of physical education (PE) and school sport each week was an aspirational target for schools introduced by the previous government. There is no statutory requirement for schools to devote a specific amount of time to PE) [www.]

Government Commissioned Reports

Significant Improvements have, however, been identified:

  • In December 2012 there were a record 15.5 million people aged 16 and over playing sport at least once a week. Thats 750,000 more than a year before and 1.57 million more than when London won the Olympic and Paralympic bid in 2005.
  • In 2010 the government re-directed National Lottery funds worth an extra £50 million a year from 2012 back into sport, to strengthen the Olympic legacy.
  • Schools also now receive the PE and sport premium is designed to help primary schools improve the quality of the PE and sport activities they offer their pupils. This funding is allocated over the 3 academic years 2013 – 2014, 2014 – 2015 and 2015 -2016.

The aim of the funding continues to be to get young people interested in sport from a young age:

…when people leave school they often stop playing sports, which means people can’t fulfil their sporting potential, and can lead to a less healthy lifestyle. We want to get more people playing sport safely from a young age, and help them keep playing sport throughout their life, no matter what their economic or social background.

Government Commissioned Reports