Preparing for Elementary School PE in 2023

published on 17th January, 2023

Tips for planning and delivering high quality Elementary School Physical Education

No matter what your experience in delivering elementary school pe, these top tips can be useful as a check list, or as a refresher to ensure students are engaged, learning, and progressing throughout PE…


Prior preparation for Physical Education is the key to success.  Have your lesson plan printed out ready and share your plan with other adults within the lesson.  Whether they are supporting individual students, or your teaching, they should be aware of your Learning Objectives.  Ideally, you will have taken some time to discuss how to appropriately include any students with additional needs.

Check equipment before each lesson to ensure it is safe, and ready to go.  Also, having your equipment ready, or even set out if possible, will be a big help at the start of your lesson.

What area have you got to use for PE today?  Check the weather if you are planning to be outside, and check the indoor timetable to ensure the hall is definitely available to use.


Use excitement, motivation, and enthusiasm to introduce each PE unit of work. They might not always show it, but your students think you are awesome, so the more engaged you are, the more engaged they will be! A more engaged class is a better behaved class.

Whenever you can, include your current PE topic in other areas of the curriculum to create curriculum links and keep the children mindful of what they are learning.

Share Learning Objectives

Learning is an essential part of Elementary School PE, and children engage more when they understand the task ahead.  Share your Learning Objectives in the classroom before each lesson and have them written on a portable whiteboard within your lesson.  A portable whiteboard is valuable for reiterating Learning Objectives, especially during discussions and demonstrations throughout the lesson, and during your plenary at the end of the lesson.

Differentiation & Challenge

There will be students who either find things too tough, or too easy. In both circumstances they could lose engagement; in Phys Ed this can affect behaviour and focus. 

Remember that you know your class and your students well.  Ahead of the lesson add progressions/regressions to allow all children to achieve success towards the same learning outcomes, and feel appropriately challenged.

Consider the ‘STEP’ process and how changing the Space, Time, Equipment, or People can help alter the difficulty of an activity.

Whole Child Development

Elementary School PE isn’t just about progressing the skills and techniques needed for sport and physical activity.  It aims to develop a child’s physical literacy and life skills, such as confidence, resilience and social skills.  Use opportunities within your lesson to identify and develop the whole child.

Mini Plenaries

Stopping the class in their activity areas for a quick discussion or demonstration can be a quick, affective way to check students’ knowledge and understanding of a task.  Think of creative ways to discuss learning and knowledge throughout each lesson, and use that portable whiteboard!

Skill Repetition

For children to develop and refine a new skill, they must have the opportunity to repeat skills and develop muscle memory.  So give students time to practice and repeat a skill.  Don’t rush your lessons just for the sake of getting through the whole lesson plan.  Progress games to allow children to practice skills in different ways.  Eg: add challenges, such as targets or defenders when looking at a new pass in basketball.

New Year = New Me…

Fitness plans are something different: they’re engaging, and also a great way to start the year as we mean to go on!  Not only do they promote a healthy, active lifestyle for children, and increase fitness levels, they encourage inclusion, communication, and perseverance to be the best they can. 

Try these full fitness units of work available for all Elementary School students from pre-k to grade 5.  Bring your sport kit and get fit with your class too!

dance, dance, dance

As an indoor topic, dance is perfect for the start of the Spring Semester.  You shouldn’t be intimidated or nervous about teaching dance lessons.  With a little planning and preparation, Elementary School Dance can be so enjoyable and rewarding for both teachers and students.

These dance plans are super easy to follow and engaging for the whole class.  They are also a great way for children to work together, express themselves and develop performing with confidence.

Elementary School PE students participating in activity

elementary school pe

We would like to wish all you amazing teachers a Happy New Year and best wishes for 2023.  Please remember that we are here to help you to deliver an exciting, engaging, and inclusive Physical Education Curriculum, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any Phys Ed related questions, no matter how big or small!

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