The PE and Sport Strategy for Young People (PESSYP)
What is the PE and Sport Strategy for Young People?
The government's 'Every Child Matters: Change for Children' strategy aims to ensure that every child, whatever their background or circumstances, has the support they need to:
enjoy and achieve
make a positive contribution
achieve economic well-being.
Participation in sport and 'sporting activities' has been identified as having a unique role in supporting improved outcomes for children and young people. Sport plays a very positive role in the lives of children and young people, supporting them to stay healthy and develop important social and life skills. The PE and Sport Strategy for Young People (PESSYP) aims to ensure that all 5 - 16 years olds have access to two hours PE and three hours beyond the curriculum and 16 -19 year olds have three hours of sport outside of the curriculum. Collectively, this is referred to as the “Five Hour Offer”.
Why is PE important?
All children should be able to enjoy physical activity whatever their circumstances or abilities, and for many this opportunity is only available to them through school. For those children who demonstrate abilities or talents within the PE curriculum and in school sporting activities, strong links into community and club sport should support their development through clear pathways into competitive and/or elite sport. For all children, links to regular opportunities for physical activity in the community and club sports can be very beneficial.
Physical activity has been shown to have wide ranging benefits for all children and young people during their school years including improved concentration, commitment and raised self-esteem. It is also strongly linked to improvements in pupil behaviour, school attendance and attainment. PE helps children to develop social skills including teamwork and leadership skills.
Physical activity has undisputed long term health benefits including a reduction in obesity and improved general fitness leading to a reduction in the risk of some health problems including coronary heart disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer. These benefits are particularly significant if a child's experience of physical activity is high quality and fun, motivating them to adopt an active lifestyle and to continue to participate in sport outside of school and into adulthood.
The educational curriculum for PE is now broadly based, providing pupils with a grounding in games, gymnastics, athletics and outdoor adventurous activities. Teaching of PE incorporates the use of information technology (IT) and focuses upon the development of decision-making skills. PE remains compulsory through all four Key Stages of the national curriculum because of the many benefits for pupils and the aim is to make PE attractive to all children, whatever their level of skill.