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Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport

  The Scottish Government recognises the positive impact physical education can have on a pupil's health, educational attainment and life chances and that it can form a key element of a school’s plan to deliver the broad health and wellbeing outcomes and experiences contained within Curriculum for Excellence.

This includes a commitment that:

  • by 2014, every school pupil in Scotland will benefit from at least two hours per week of physical education in primary school, and two periods in S1 to S4.

Securing this entitlement across Scotland will be a tangible and enduring legacy for the 2014 Commonwealth Games and adds to our already significant investment into providing opportunities for children to get active.

It is essential that children and young people understand the benefits a healthier and active lifestyle can bring them later in life, our ‘Take Life On’ campaign highlights the importance of children getting at least 60 minutes activity a day, and schools have a crucial role to play in delivering this long term investment in health.

Measuring Delivery

Delivery of the Scottish Government’s commitment on 2 hours of PE in primary schools, and 2 periods in S1 to S4 is measured annually through the Healthy Living Survey. The Healthy Living Survey results from 2013 outlined that 89% of schools were meeting the target, up from 85% in 2012 and under 10% in 2004/05.  The 2013 survey results can be found at the following link http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/School-Education/MealsSD/mealspesd/mealspesd2013 and includes local authority and individual school level data.

Curriculum for Excellence - Experiences and Outcomes

Health and wellbeing within Curriculum for Excellence can provide a range of opportunities for young people to participate in physical activity.  The Experiences and Outcomes are intended to establish a pattern of daily physical activity which, research has shown, is most likely to lead to sustained physical activity in adult life.

Physical education provides learners with a platform from which they can build physical competences, improve aspects of fitness, and develop personal and interpersonal skills and attributes.  It enables learners to develop the concepts and skills necessary for participation in a wide range of physical activity, sport, dance and outdoor learning, and enhances their physical wellbeing in preparation for leading a fulfilling, active and healthy lifestyle.

In addition to planned physical education sessions, physical activity and sport take place in the classroom, in the school, during travel such as walking and cycling, in the outdoor environment and in the community.

Learning in, through and about physical education, physical activity and sport is enhanced by participating on a regular basis in a wide range of purposeful, challenging, progressive and enjoyable physical activities with choice built in for all learners.

Active Schools

The Active Schools programme contributes to the Curriculum for Excellence, sending out strong messages on physical activity and sport throughout the school and increasing links to the wider community.  Last year Active Schools provided almost 5 million opportunities for children to get involved in a wide range of sport, physical activity and play opportunities in and around the school day.


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