At Longcause we give a high priority to maximising the opportunities for the physical development of our pupils and promote that fully embracing a healthy and active lifestyle can have positive and far-reaching consequences on physical and mental well-being.
We have developed a bespoke Longcause PE curriculum which encompasses the following strands:
Swimming - Our aim is that every pupil will be able to swim 25m. We do this as we believe it is an essential life skill and particularly important for our pupils as they all live relatively close to the coastal areas and have access to water. We want them to be safe around water. Pupils engage in swimming lessons from early years with our specialist PE teacher and continue with sessions throughout KS1&2. As pupils approach the latter end of KS2 and throughout KS3, we utilise swimming coaches from local pools to deliver alongside our staff and encourage parents to enrol into external swimming sessions with a voucher system supported by the local authority. We will continue to provide intervention to those pupils who fall short of the 25m goal right into KS4. We also maintain the emphasis of being physically active, engaging in community club opportunities and most of all enjoyment. Community swimming opportunities are also offered in KS4 as well as competitive opportunities for those pupils that will benefit from this.
Inspired: Longcause student Abi Daley meeting Team GB's swimming Olympic legend Rebecca Adlington with teacher Chrissie Clark at Plymouth Life Centre during one of her school swimming sessions.
Gymnastics / Trampolining - We use rebound therapy and gymnastics activities from early years to develop fundamental movement skills as well as communication and interaction. This opportunity continues throughout KS1&2 where pupils begin to refine skills and work through the Winstrada trampoline awards and British Gymnastics awards. In KS3&4, pupils are also given the opportunity to participate in rebound therapy and gymnastics, all of this being delivered by specialist PE teachers or rebound therapy trained teaching assistants (12 in total thanks to primary PE funding). Pupils are signposted towards local community clubs offering extended opportunities and are also given the opportunity to visit places where these activities can be accessed in the community such as trampoline parks. We provide intervention opportunities for pupils who will benefit from regular (often daily) engagement in rebound therapy as well as additional occupational therapy support.
Cycling - Thanks to primary PE funding we have excellent facilities and equipment to get our youngest pupils riding as soon as possible. We have a large fleet of balance bikes with designated cycling areas and a specialist PE teacher working alongside our pupils and up-skilling our staff. In later years, our bike track offers pupils the opportunity to extend their skills and when ready pupils are given opportunities offsite to further explore, enjoy, extend and consolidate their skills. Pupils are also offered the national Bikeability programs from Balanceability, Learn to Ride and Bikeability Level 1,2 and 3. This provides a true progressional pathway of cycling skills which pupils can then transfer into independent transportation within their community and also cycling for fitness and wellbeing.
Adventuring: Longcause pupils and staff on a mountain biking trip in Haldon Forest, Exeter
Fitness and Games - In early years we focus on initial ball skills and static low variable striking skills. In KS1&2 we begin to develop gross motor skills, reactions and elements of competition. In later years, our curriculum focuses more closely on the components of fitness and the encountering of a range of sporting activities. It challenges the learners to reflect upon their own performance and consider how improvements can be made. At this stage, attention is brought to the principles of competition including opportunities to experience this and also links to wider life lessons such as the importance of being able to accept victory and defeat and respecting others.
We believe that it is highly beneficial for our pupils to access the numerous benefits that becoming a part of a club or sporting organisation can provide both during and beyond our pupils’ time at Longcause. We therefore promote and encourage sport and physical activity as a realistic lifelong pursuit and signpost pupils to local sports clubs including to those who have a regular presence in our school.
Outdoor Education - We hope for our pupils to develop an appreciation of the outdoors and also their team working and problem-solving skills through outdoor pursuits and challenges. This learning is encountered through elements of the Duke of Edinburgh Award which is encountered by all pupils in year 10 and 11 and also through events such as The Daily Mile, the annual Jubilee Challenge and off-site residentials.
Duke of Edinburgh Award:
We aim to ensure that all students leaving Longcause will have earned the Duke of Edinburgh Award.
We enter all of our year key stage 4 students onto the Duke of Edinburgh Award. The award demands that all students take part in an expedition which must be planned, trained for and completed unaccompanied. Additionally, all students complete a 'physical' component of the award where a 'sustained level of physical activity' must be demonstrated across a minimum of 3 or 6 months on a weekly basis.
New Horizons: Longcause pupils trekking across Dartmoor for their DofE expedition
Interhouse Sports Competition:
We organise competitive inter-house sports events across each school year and every child at Longcause is given the opportunity to play a range of sports competitively in a fun, challenging and safe setting. As a part of these competitions, we strive to embed lessons for life including how to win and lose graciously and being able to function as an effective team member as well as nurturing an appetite for wanting to play more sport.
Need for speed: Students giving their all, competing in our inter-house sports morning.
Other Physical Development Opportunities at Longcause
Across each year, we actively seek further opportunities that will give our students the chance to take part in physical activity and encourage it as a lifestyle habit that they can embed for life.
Other events related to physical activity that our students have taken part in include:
Oarsome: Longcause competing at the Sainsubury's School Games in the indoor rowing event.