What belongs in a PE Cupboard?

What belongs in a PE Cupboard?

It’s that time of year when you go to take stock of the PE Cupboard.  It looks a bit like a hurricane has blown through, equipment jumbled and mismatched. You know some of it needs replacing but what?  And how many do you need? 

Here we take a look at the essential items that will help deliver the curriculum for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.  For most lessons or activities you will need one piece or set of equipment per child or one between two. 

KS1 Cones
KS1 Hoops
KS1 Balls

Key Stage 1

The focus for this group is on the ABCs Agility, Balance and Coordination.  By developing fundamental movements they should become increasing competent and confident in how they move and access a broad range of opportunities.  They should be able to take part in cooperative and competitive (both against self and others) physical activities in a range situations that continue to challenge. 

According to guidelines pupils should be taught to: 

1) master basic movements including running, jumping, throwing and catching, as well as developing balance, agility and co-ordination, and begin to apply these in a range of activities

This covers a wide range of activities that use a number of different types of equipment. Create spaces, courses and encourage spatial awareness (each child having a spot to stand on, jump over etc.) with markers and cones. Throwing and catching can start with a soft beanbag toss and hoops for targets. It’s then useful to have a range of balls in varying sizes and types such as fluff balls, foam balls, reaction or Z-balls and Playground balls. Skipping ropes can make excellent wiggly walkways to test balance while remaining on the ground and quoits are perfect for balancing on heads, shoulders, arms… the list goes on. 

2) participate in team games, developing simple tactics for attacking and defending

There are too many great games to list here that teach teamwork, utilise the skills learned and develop invasion and defending skills.  Games like 'capture the flag' or 'boxes', where you knock over opponent teams cones, utilise cones, balls and hoops like many of the skill development activities.  Bibs help to distinguish between the teams, its worth having at least 4 different colours as some games have 4 teams competing against each other.

3) perform dances using simple movement patterns

There are lots of dance themes that you can choose from and your selection will most likely reflect the needs of your children.  Pom poms, ribbon wands, scarves  wrist and ankle bells can be introduced in to many routines to add an extra flourish.    

KS2 Dance
KS2 Runner
KS2 Basketball

Key Stage 2

As children progress they continue to apply and develop a broader range of skills, learning how to use them in different ways and to link them to make actions and sequences of movement. They should enjoy communicating, collaborating and competing with each other. They should develop an understanding of how to improve in different physical activities and sports and learn how to evaluate and recognise their own success.

According to guidelines pupils should be taught to:

1) use running, jumping, throwing and catching in isolation and in combination

Games such as dodgeball or even water dodgeball, obstacle causes and other games that combine these actions utilise simple equipment such as hoops, balls and noodles help to develop these skills.  

2) play competitive games, modified where appropriate, and apply basic principles suitable for attacking and defending

learning to play team games such as netball, football and basketball or individual sports such as tennis start to put in to practice all the skills that have been learned so far. 

3) develop flexibility, strength, technique, control and balance

Gymnastics is great for developing strength and flexibility. Good mats are essential. Don’t forget to inspect them regularly to ensure they are in good working order.  The covers should be intact and the foam centre remain springy offering good support.

4) perform dances using a range of movement patterns

Dance continues to play a key role in KS2 PE.  Scarves, ribbons and pom poms at the ready!

5) take part in outdoor and adventurous activity challenges both individually and within a team

Getting outdoors has never been more important and what’s more fun than an adventure!   Scavenger hunts in the playground or local park can help develop navigational skills. Challenges such as utilising hoops to cross a ‘river’ so that the whole team can get from one side to the other without getting heir feet ‘wet’ develop communication and problem-solving skills. 

6) compare their performances with previous ones and demonstrate improvement to achieve their personal best

We all want to make sure we’re getting better with each session.  Stopwatches and whistles will help to keep track of timings and support everyone reaching their personal best. 


There is one last challenge and that is how to store and move the equipment for each lesson.  Bags and Trolleys will help to keep everything tidy and ready for action.