A Practical Guide to Teaching Physical Education in the Secondary School  book cover
3rd Edition

A Practical Guide to Teaching Physical Education in the Secondary School

ISBN 9780367183936
Published November 17, 2020 by Routledge
366 Pages

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Book Description

A Practical Guide to Teaching Physical Education in the Secondary School is written for all student teachers on university and school-based initial teacher education programmes. It offers a wealth of tried and tested strategies together with practical activities and materials to support your teaching to enhance pupils’ learning. It is designed for you to dip in and out of, and enable you to focus on specific areas of teaching, your programme or pupils' learning.

This third edition is fully updated with the most recent developments in teaching physical education and features five brand new chapters. Key topics covered include:

  • Planning schemes of work, units of work and lessons
  • Safe practice, risk assessment and risk management
  • Promoting positive behaviour
  • Applying theories of learning to your practice
  • Overcoming barriers and maximising the achievement of all pupils
  • Assessing learning
  • Physical literacy NEW
  • Health related learning NEW
  • Using digital technologies NEW
  • Reflective practice and action research
  • Managing your workload, resilience, health and well-being NEW
  • Working with your mentor NEW

Photocopiable resources offer assistance in lesson observation, planning, preparation, teaching and evaluation. An annotated 'Further resources' section at the end of each chapter provides information about some useful additional resources to support you in your development as a teacher.  

Illustrated throughout with examples of existing good practice, this highly practical resource offers valuable support and guidance to all student teachers as well as those in the early years of their teaching career.

Although A Practical Guide to Teaching Physical Education in the Secondary School, 3rd Edition can be used successfully on its own, it is also a companion to Learning to Teach Physical Education in the Secondary School, 5th Edition and can be used to reinforce the basic teaching skills covered in that core textbook.

Table of Contents


  1. The nature of physical education

Margaret Whitehead

Aims, value and justifications – Defining terms – Aims of Physical Education – Relationships between objectives and teaching, content and teaching approaches -

2 Your philosophy of physical education

Joanne Cliffe

Your views about physical education – Understanding the influence of your background on your views – Taking into account your views to enable you to focus on what and how you teach

3 Enacting a physical literacy approach

Margaret Whitehead

Physical literacy – Addressing the principles -

4 Long-term planning: Schemes of work

Joanne Cliffe

Factors which influence planning a scheme of work – Culture, ethos, values and aims – Philosophy – Development of pupils – Statutory requirements – Wider requirements of the National Curriculum – Breadth and balance – Continuity and progression – Mapping the scheme of work -

5 Medium- and short-term planning: Units of work and lesson plans

Joanne Cliffe

Medium term planning – Writing unit of work objectives – Short term planning

6 Health-related learning in physical education

Jo Harris

Health within physical education – Requirements – Health-related learning - Approaches to teaching Learning– Effective teaching – Fitness testing – Assessment of Learning

7 Planning for pupils’ learning in broader dimensions of the curriculum 1: citizenship, social, moral, spiritual, cultural, personal and mental development

Andrew Theodoulides

Committing to promoting learning – Identifying pupils’ learning – Effective teaching and learning strategies – Reacting to opportunities

8 Preparing pupils for opportunities, responsibilities and experiences beyond the school curriculum

Julie Money and Barbara Walsh

The broader range of learning opportunities to which education contributes – Learning opportunities to support the development of pupils skills and attributes – Planning to incorporate a broader range of learning opportunities -

9 Planning for the contribution of physical education to cross-curricular teaching

Suzanne Everley and Andy Wild

What is cross-curricular teaching – The planning process – Engaging other subjects in cross-curricular teaching – Extending cross-curricular learning opportunities

10 Using Digital Technologies To Enhance Your Teaching Of Physical Education

Julia Sargent and Ashley Casey

Pedagogy before technology – Assessment and Feedback – Engagement – Supporting movement – Collaboration and communication – Professional development – Further uses of technology – Critical thinking

11 Safe practice, risk assessment and risk management

Anne Chappell

The Law and documentation for safe practice – Safe practice in the physical education environment – Risk assessment and management – Support to ensure safe practice

12 Teaching for Intentional Learning

Richard Blair and Susan Capel

The Curriculum ––The NC and NCPE – Teaching different knowledges – Teaching approaches

13 Creating an effective learning environment

Julia Lawrence

What is an effective learning environment? – Maximising learning time – Organising and managing a lesson – Features of an effective learning environment -

14 Applying theories of learning to your practice

Leverne Barber, Karen Williams, Vanessa Jones

Learning theories – Strategies in relation to learning theories – Starting points – Planning – The use of teaching strategies to recognise achievement – Thinking about thinking

15 Assessing pupils’ learning

Mark Bowler, Sophy Bassett and Angela Newton

Assessment for and of learning – Planning learning outcomes – Strategies and criteria for assessment – Teacher observation – The effective use of questioning – Peer and self-assessment – Self assessment and the use of information and communication technology – Target setting – Judging the quality of learning – Recording pupils’ learning

16 Teaching to promote positive behaviour

Kerry Whitehouse

Developing a learning environment that promotes positive behaviour – establishing clear rules, routines and expectations for positive behaviour – promoting positive behaviour – Rules, rewards and consequences

17 Overcoming barriers and maximising the achievement of all pupils

Gill Golder

Inclusive Education – Recognising diversity – Equality of opportunity – Inclusive policy and inclusive practice – Using differentiation to meet the needs of all pupils – Extending and challenging the most talented pupils – Towards and inclusive pedagogy – Reflecting upon your own practices

18 Working with others

Richard Blair and Lee C. Beaumont

Experts in an activity – Without QTS – To support curricular and extra-curricular

19 Viewing physical education from a different perspective – an alternative approach to planning for learning

Gill Golder and Jackie Arthur

Fundamental movement skills (FMS) as the start point for learning – Development of social and cognitive learning through diversity – Making the connection between FMS, social and cognitive development – Learning through alternative activities and different environments

20 The reflective practitioner

Paula Zwozdiak-Myers

How reflections might be conceptualised – Where reflection can take place – Engage in reflective practice – Why reflecting on your practice is important -

21 Action research

Paula Zwozdiak-Myers

Characteristics of action research – Identify a focus for action research – Engage in the action research process – Assess the validity of action research -

22 Working with your mentor

Peter Mellor

Key elements of mentoring that impact on your development as a teacher – Mentor support - The importance of the mentor / student teacher relationship – Working with your mentor to maximise your learning opportunities for short and long term development -

23 Managing your workload, resilience, health and well-being

Declan Hamblin

Managing your workload – Teacher efficacy – Teacher resilience – Emotional resilience – Strategies to develop your resilience – Your health and well-being -


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Susan Capel is Emeritus Professor at Brunel University London, where she was previously Head of School of Sport and Education.

Joanne Cliffe is Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham, where she is Programme Lead for the Secondary Physical Education PGDipEd (QTS) and Director for the MA Teaching Studies.

Julia Lawrence was, until recently, Senior Lecturer in Education at the University of Hull. Julia has written on a number of subjects including physical education, mentoring, reflective practice and becoming a teacher educator.