My 2nd P.E Deep Dive: Just call me Scuba Steve…

Roughly 2/3 weeks after the first P.E Deep Dive I experienced – one of the other Schools in our MAC had the call again. At first the general belief was that they wouldn’t choose P.E for the Deep Dive again, due to it being a focus in the previous Ofsted inspection in a linked School. However it transpired that the Headteacher’s initial phone call involved a conversation concerning assessment and in this particular School, several subjects have adopted the assessment system used in P.E. As a result P.E was chosen for a Deep Dive! (The 2nd in a month).

Some time has passed since the experience, which was fortunately very positive, and I thought I would complete the same process as with the first P.E Deep Dive. Essentially I reflect on what happened and attempt to replicate my answers on here in the hope that it will help another School maximise their P.E delivery and ace any future P.E Deep Dives.

Two things I will mention before you read on. 1) I’m not pretending to have all of the answers, these are just my answers. 2) I would have found the whole experience much trickier if we didn’t have such high quality, extensive planning and assessment systems in place. This isn’t necessarily a sales pitch, although the Power of P.E plans and assessment system has now withstood two P.E Deep Dives, thriving in both. But I would struggle to make the same statements if the School I was working in, couldn’t easily show planning for progression or a stringent assessment system.

The organisation of the Deep Dive 2 was similar to Deep Dive 1. However it wasn’t a copy and paste job. This is a very brief comparison of the logistics of a Deep Dive (the bullet points are placed in chronological order – so the component at the top happened first):

Deep Dive 1

  • 25 minute meeting w/ P.E Specialist & P.E Co-ordinator
  • 2 x 45 minute observations of P.E Specialist and Class Teachers modelling how CPD sessions are organised & quality of T & L (The Inspector was present throughout all of both sessions)
  • A meeting with pupils to discuss P.E at the School with them. 3 each from the classes she observed, the Inspector asked from 1 ‘M/A’, 1 ‘L/A’ and a child ‘from the middle’ (we were allowed to select the children!)

Deep Dive 2

  • 2 x 45 minute observations of P.E Specialist and Class Teachers modelling how CPD sessions are organised & quality of T & L (These lesson observations were observed by the Inspector, the Head teacher, the KS1 P.E Co-ordinator and the KS2 P.E Co-ordinator. So a lot of adults present! Slightly nerve racking). The inspector stayed in both of these lessons for around 30 minutes.
  • The Inspector then met with 3 children from each class that she observed. However on this occasion we were not allowed to select these children. The inspector selected the children during the observations and informed the P.E Co-ordinator to fetch them once the lessons were finished. This meeting lasted 20 minutes and only the Headteacher was allowed to sit in on the meeting.
  • A meeting w/ P.E Specialist & P.E Co-ordinators (this lasted 50 minutes!)

Whereas in the meeting during Deep Dive 1 was a conversation steered by the Inspector. This meeting (Deep Dive 2) was very definitely an interview. The inspector had a list of questions and the meeting would last as long as it took to work down this list.

Below you will find the questions put to us and my attempt to remember the answers that we provided. I hope this is useful.


What is the standard of P.E in this School?

Excellent. The children love being physically active and I think Staff love teaching it too. Our children benefit from a broad, deep and exciting P.E curriculum. All of the Staff teaching within the School have received years of CPD with the P.E Specialist, allowing them to gradually improve confidence and competence when teaching P.E. The standard of Teaching and Learning is very high within P.E lessons but our School does a range of fantastic things to engage the children during playtimes and before/after School hours. At this point we shared data explaining the rise in extra-curricular attendance and the initiatives we run to get the kids moving as much as possible. Such as Trip to Tokyo or Activ8 minutes….

How do you organise CPD?

I (the Trust P.E Specialist), the Headteacher and the P.E Co-ordinators of each School identify members of Staff to work with in terms of urgency. NQT’s and staff that are new to our trust usually get CPD earlier in the academic year. We then divide the amount of sessions available over the year amongst the Staff that we select. I work in 8 Schools and each School has me for half a day a week and I alternate which School I work in on a Friday offering Active Family workshops, Playground leader training and interventions in addition to running my SLE projects.

We ask all of our teaching staff to complete what we call ‘CPD Self-Review’ sheets. This is a list of all activities that feature on our P.E curriculum, we then ask staff to tick ‘Red/Amber/Green’ to indicate their own perceived level of competence when teaching that activity. This allows us to analyse where a member of Staff requires support, we keep these sheets and date them. This process enables us to make exact observations on the progress of Staff over time, exactly where they have made progress and which activities to target next! Our CPD Self-Review sheet looks as below, feel free to pinch/modify the idea if it suits!

How do you support children with SEN?

We stringently follow the IEP’s of all children and adapt our teaching practice to accommodate the needs of these children. Having said that all of our teachers are now really skilled when differentiating in P.E. Regular CPD has helped with this in addition to the design of our lesson plans. Which highlight exactly how to differentiate each task to accommodate all learners. In this particular School I think it would be difficult to identify the SEN children form their performance in a P.E lesson.

How do you ensure that pupils progress year on year?

The assessment system that our Schools use enables us to pin point where the children make progress and when. This enabled us to show the Inspector the assessment sheets where we could explain that certain children made progress in a strand, and that the difference in colour denotes when the progress was made. The Inspector asks who wrote all of the lesson plans, and if the class teachers in the School received any support making these assessments. They do, both through 1-to-1 CPD with myself and the structure of the lesson plans themselves. On the lesson plans all text in italics refers to additional guidance on differentiation and on each lesson plan there is also guidance on how to make judgements on the children’s progress. An example of this can be found below:

Show me the difference between the depth of learning in Year 1 as supposed to at the end of KS2?

We have the following documents to evidence the progression of tasks in each Scheme of Work.

Upon being asked this question we were able to supply the Inspector with a folder which contained the lesson plans ranging from EYFS up to Year 6 for one activity. At the front of this folder was the above ‘Progression in Football’ document. This enabled us to quickly make statements that we have carefully considered how we intend to ensure children progress. I feel we would have struggled to have made this statement so successfully if we didn’t have a bank of lesson plans for our P.E curriculum or these documents highlighting how progressive our P.E Curriculum is.

How do you assess the progress of pupils in P.E?

At this point I produced some samples of how our assessment system works. I explained that the assessment system was created at the same time as the lesson plans so they work in tandem. I have created a selection of P.E Statements per year group, these are things that I believe children should be able to do at the end of their academic year. I continued to explain how the assessment system works and why it is so effective (this is the same system that comes with the packages that are sold on this website)


What do you do with these assessments?

These assessments follow the class. So any member of Staff who teaches a class a PE lesson will consult this document to help them plan effective lessons.

What are the non-negotiables for children in P.E? (Behaviour & Attitudes)

This question caught me slightly off guard if I’m honest. I have never been asked it by HMI before (this Ofsted was my 10th in 8 years). In typical P.E teacher fashion I started by talking about the kids attitude to learning. Namely, ensuring their P.E kit is suitable (I tried to show the Inspector our P.E kit Policy but she wasn’t interested). I mentioned that the School has a behaviour policy that is embedded throughout all subjects, adding that in truth, behaviour problems in P.E are minimal if at all. The children really enjoy P.E and as a result behaviour is really good!

What training do you receive to help you in your role as KS1 Co-ordinator/KS2 Co-ordinator/P.E Specialist?

The Inspector told me I wasn’t allowed to answer this one (in a light hearted manner – I also knew she meant it). The Co-ordinators went to explain the work with do together in MAC meetings, Staff Meetings and the courses that we had sent them on externally.

Tell me about provision for P.E at this School – has the P.E and Sport Premium enabled you to have more/better equipment?

The short answer to this question was a firm yes. To ensure we have the correct and enough equipment we actually use the same CPD Self Review sheet that the teachers complete. Only we fill it out from the perspective of “Have we got enough equipment to effectively teach this topic”. Over time we now have enough equipment to teach all topics that we have the planning for!

How does P.E contribute towards the Cultural Capital of your children?

I suspected we might get asked this question due to the locality and social demographics of the surrounding area. To help me to make the points I wanted to I created a poster which contained numerous pictures of how P.E broadens the horizons of our children. On this featured trips we had taken the children too (an aspiration day at the Bet 365 stadium, watching England Under-21s at the Bescot Stadium, Walsall), the events we stage that link to events outside of School (we once invited Parents to complete in a Wimbledon short-tennis tournament, Road to Rio, Trip to Tokyo, Active Family Workshops etc). In essence, P.E plays a huge role in enhancing the cultural capital of our children.

How many hours of P.E are taught in each class at this School?

  1. Evidenced by our P.E timetable.

Tell me more about the health statistics you were trying to show me earlier.

Earlier in the meeting we supplied the Inspector with the obesity statistics for Stoke on Trent. Focusing specifically on the children’s percentages. We outlined the barriers to exercise for the community and wider community of the School and expressed the importance of a vibrant, engaging P.E curriculum for all of our children. The Inspector was impressed that we monitor the fitness of the children in a non-threatening, incredibly uplifting manner. We explained that children that needed support to be more active received bespoke extra-curricular ‘active’ clubs to match their interests.

If the work you have done here is so positive – what happens when you leave? (Sustainability)

Numerous if not all members of Staff are aware of what we do, how we monitor and improve and why we do it. If I change my role I am more than confident that the good work would be maintained as the Staff have bought into it and as a result Physical Education is thriving at this School.

I hope all of the above helps when you know who, comes to do you know what (it has all gone very Harry Potter all of a sudden). It has been helpful I also wrote a blog detailing my experiences of the first Deep Dive in P.E. You can find that here: