“Schools must use the funding to make additional and sustainable improvements to the quality of the PE, sport and physical activity they provide.”
That is how the Department for Education describes how to use the Primary PE and Sport Premium in a nutshell.
It is a clear statement that the funding cannot be used to deliver the core curriculum.
But to ensure schools meet new guidance and conditions, it is important not to overlook the sustainability and quality strands of the criteria.
It's vital schools ensure the variety and range of PE and sports activity it offers is boosted in a way that future, as well as current, pupils will benefit from.
Key to the guidance is the aim of establishing a love of physical activity among children so they go on making healthy lifestyle choices.
The Government announced last summer that the Premium funding would continue in the school year 2022-2023.
Final allocation payments are due to be made from the spring.
However new guidance has been issued on the how to apply the premium and ensure it is spent as intended.
The Government has stated that the funding must be used to build capacity and capability within a school, driving improvements which pupils will benefit from in future years.
It also states these improvements must develop or add to the PE, sport and physical activity a school provides.
It wants to see lasting change in the approach by schools towards PE, ensuring pupils have access to at least 30 minutes of physical activity during the school day, alongside PE provision.
At Sunshine Gym we have been working with primary schools across the UK to design and install outdoor gyms which secure improvement across the five key indicators in the funding guidance.
1. Increased confidence, knowledge and skills of all staff in teaching PE and sport
The addition of a Sunshine Gym, which may be described as a revenue expense under school policy, opens up the opportunity to enhance the knowledge and skills of PE and sports teachers. It provides additional tools at their disposal, inspiring new ways of delivering lessons and incorporating outdoor gym equipment into sessions.
2. Engagement of all pupils in regular physical activity
With a wide variety of inclusive and accessible equipment to choose from, such as Multi Gyms and multi user stations, a Sunshine Gym is a popular way to engage all pupils in regular physical activity. Our multi user designs are key to this, as even the most reluctant pupils prefer to workout alongside their friends.
3. The profile of PE and sport is raised across the school as a tool for whole school improvement
A Sunshine Gym is a real talking point, raising the profile of PE and sport across the school for whole school improvement. Designed to be used all year round, a Sunshine Gym draws on the wellbeing benefits of exercising outdoors including improved academic attainment and focus. Equipment such as the Children’s Horse Rider draws on the power of imaginative play to keep children active, while many pieces of kit resemble equipment pupils may see at home or on TV like the Children’s Double Health Walker, which is like an outdoor treadmill.
4. Broader experience of a range of sports and physical activities offered to all pupils
Having their own outdoor gym, designed and built specially for users under 4ft 7ins tall, means all pupils can broaden their experience of physical activity. Again, with so much variety in our product range, from the Children’s Double Slalom Skier to the Children’s Double Strength Challenger, our advisers can design a gym which meets the interests and needs of target groups now and in the future.
5. Increased participation in competitive sport
As our outdoor gym equipment is free to access once installed, a Sunshine Gym breaks down barriers to make sport and activity available to all pupils which drives increased participation especially during break and lunch times. Our equipment can also support the development of other new and existing sports provision, such as being used in warm ups and cool down before and after competitive sports matches, as well as fostering respect for healthy competition and performance improvement.