Physical Development


Promoting Active and Healthy Lifestyles

Pupils learn skills that will help them become more independent and develop an active and healthy lifestyle beyond school. Physical Development (and Physical Education) at Mill Water is consistently evolving to meet the needs of the pupils. Staff at Mill Water set challenging outcomes for the pupils regarding their physical development; pupils engage in inter and intra school sport activities. Pupils participate in a minimum of 2 hours’ physical activity a week at Mill Water.


At Mill Water pupils are taught using the National Curriculum for Physical Education; we adapt this curriculum to meet the needs of our pupils. The PE curriculum includes the following different sub-categories:

    • Individual Movement
    • Games
    • Outdoor Activities

Pupils are taught different activities that fall into these three activity strands. This includes most team sports, swimming, Gymnastics, Dance, Trampoline/Rebound and Athletics. Overarching learning aims such as developing independence and communication are incorporated within the delivery of the curriculum. Onsite support for pupils with physical difficulties is provided by the school physiotherapist and assistant.

PE at Mill Water is delivered by the class teacher and the teaching assistants. There is a nominated PE lead within the school who oversees the PE provision and supports the class teacher in their delivery of PE. This includes assessment toolkits to support sequential learning for activities frequently accessed by Mill Water pupils: Swimming, Cycling, Gymnastics and Rebound. Additionally, staff are provided a list of activities suitable for the delivery of PE in their class and a bank of resources to deliver these lessons sequentially. PE at Mill Water includes weekly PE lessons involving 1 or more classes; small group lessons such as Swimming in the School’s hydro pool or local leisure centre; individual or paired work such as using the schools rebound room.

Mill Water aims to develop the PE ethos throughout school life. Pupils are encouraged to participate in some form of daily physical activity. Mill Water pupils participate in internal school competitions such as Sports Day and Ability Count Activities. Mill Water links in with two regional communities for Physical Education. The first is the East Devon School Sports Partnerships which is led by Kings School, Ottery St Mary. As part of this partnership primary aged pupils participate in Activity days with their mainstream peers including activities such as seated volleyball, Boccia, Curling, indoor Athletics and Foam Archery. The school is also part of the Devon Special School PE network where inter school activities and competitions are created for pupils to participate in; these events happen annually and include a Swimming Gala, several Football Tournaments, Cricket Festival, Benchball and Athletics competition. Mill Water pupils, where appropriate, participate in all of these events.


At Mill Water we encourage links with Sporting bodies in our community; we promote links with organisations that promote our Physical Development ethos of ‘Promoting Active and Healthy Lifestyles’, where pupils can continue their participation outside of school hours. Pupils at Mill Water gain the fundamental physical literacy to enable them to pursue lifelong physical activities. Pupils develop a range of emotional and social benefits from participation in Physical Development such as improved self-confidence, self-esteem and social interactions. Our curriculum provides a range of activities to promote participation that meets the needs of all pupils.

Within school, teachers assess pupils on their Physical Education using Evidence for Learning. This includes a general assessment framework known as Physical Development, and more specific assessments frameworks for Cycling, Swimming, Gymnastics and Trampoline/Rebound. The Mill Water swimming assessment runs parallel with the Swim England assessment stages (Mill Water assessment stage 6 for Swimming is the same as Swim England Assessment Stage 1). The Mill Water Cycling assessment runs parallel with the Bikeability assessment (Mill Water assessment stage 7 is the same as Bikeability stage 2). The Trampoline/Rebound assessment uses the Winstrada assessment levels 1-10. Teachers are encouraged to use these assessments frameworks when writing pupils EHCP, particularly the Physical Needs part of the EHCP.