PE and Sport

1. Substantive knowledge - this is the core subject knowledge and vocabulary used about the sporting disciplines and the contribution of sporting figures from a range of sports. We explore these through the lenses of substantive concepts which are taught through explicit vocabulary instruction as well as through the direct content and context of the study. The substantive concepts that we develop through our Physical Education curriculum are:

Invasion games      |      Net/wall games     |      Strike/field games      |      Target games      |      Gymnastics      |      Dance      |      Outdoor and adventurous activities      |      Athletics      |      Swimming

2. Disciplinary knowledge - PE draws on knowledge from a range of disciplines, including elite sport, physiology, psychology and sociology. For example, knowledge of how breathing rates increase during exercise has been established through scientific enquiry, whereas strategies to outwit an opponent in rugby have their disciplinary roots in elite sport. Physical Education therefore require that we teach pupils to competently and confidently apply the important contributions that each field makes to their participation in sport and physical activity.

3. Declarative knowledge – this is the factual knowledge concerning movement, rules, tactics, strategies, health and participation. It is explicitly linked to the content being taught. Pupils demonstrate their declarative knowledge through question-and-answer sections of a lesson or spoken or written observations of a practical demonstration. We provide pupils with the explicit vocabulary teaching and give them opportunities to verbalise their strengths and limitations, and to communicate ideas, decisions and choices they make during an activity they undertake or one that they observe.

4. Procedural knowledge – this can be viewed as the know-how to apply declarative facts, such as applying the tactics to a practice situation or modified game. This knowledge in a PE setting is best put into practice through physical demonstration or physical participation. For example, someone must have knowledge of what a headstand looks like and how to retain balance, before they start to practise doing one.


The latter two forms of knowledge, the ‘know-what’ and ‘know-how’, are vitally important in ensuring a pupil’s effective physically education. Pupils need to be explicitly taught what the links are between declarative and procedural knowledge. Without the declarative knowledge of motor movement, rules, strategies and tactics, and healthy participation, it might be that pupils can perform physically but they are not able to critically engage fully in the field of sport and physical activity, which could otherwise enrich their experiences. We have therefore carefully selection for systematic teaching both declarative and procedural knowledge.