Sports Premium

At St Mary’s we value highly the importance of physical education (PE) for all our pupils and provide a curriculum enhanced by a range of extra-curricular activities.

Over the past years, the Government has allocated a ring-fenced grant for English primary schools to provide additional and sustainable improvements to the quality of PE, sport and physical activity. This funding is provided jointly by the Department for Education, Health and Culture and Media and Sport. The PE and Sports Premium is designed to help children get an active start in life so that they experience the benefits of regular exercise – from becoming healthier both physically and mentally to improved behaviour and better academic achievement.

Our key successes at St Mary’s over the past year include:

An improvement in the number of Year 6 children who met the national swimming targets by July 2023. Children demonstrated further ability and stamina to swim 900m, 750m, 600m in a 20 minute period.




Percentage of Year 6 cohort who swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres.



Percentage of Year 6 cohort who use a range of strokes effectively



Percentage of Year 6 cohort who can perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations.



  • With more of a say in PE lessons and clubs, the children are more inclined to participate; children from all backgrounds have the opportunity to be active in extracurricular clubs. Participation in a Sports 4 All event involved and encouraged children with additional needs and our least active children.
  • Investment in resources, coaching and OPAL (outdoor play and learning for schools) saw an elevation in active learning and play at break times (15 minutes) and lunchtimes (30 minutes). Improved knowledge/skills saw children engage in more activities; Play Leaders took ‘ownership’ of break time activities for all to enjoy. 
  • Reintroduction of the Daily Mile; children are active for an extra 15 minutes per day.
  • Whole school participation in Children’s Mental Health Week and our child Mental Health Ambassadors now champion and sometimes lead ‘Stormbreaks’, a new classroom initiative for short breaks to improve mental health through movement. 
  • Collaboration with The Woodroffe School provided staff CPD to team teach with a secondary PE specialist; staff were upskilled to feel more confident to lead PE lessons.
  • Year 5 and 6 children gained their Level 1 Bikeability awards giving them the skills and road safety awareness to cycle more confidently outside school.
  • A whole school Cultural Dance Day saw all children immersed in freestyle and structured dance moves culminating in group performances.
  • Collaboration with other Trust schools for a week of extra-curricular activities for Years 5 and 6 including: challenges at Dorset Adventure Park; agility, balance and brain power for bouldering at Rockburn; tackling an inflatable assault course and a Street Dance Workshop.
  • Children demonstrated new skills, teamwork and sportsmanship in Trust inter-school competitive sports tournaments both at ‘home’ and ‘away’.
  • Achieving a Bronze Award in the School Games Mark programme in recognition of our commitment to developing competition across the school and community.

We are very proud of our successes but would still like to achieve more. For 2023/24, we aim to:

  • Continue to ensure equal access for all children to be active for 60 minutes a day, including subsidised extra-curricular fitness / sports clubs.  
  • Continue to embrace sport and physical activities to develop positive behaviours, attributes and skills which help with learning across the curriculum and promote inclusion and cohesion within school and beyond.
  • Elevate staff CPD with ‘above and beyond’ skills sessions to support the school’s commitment to deliver high quality weekly PE with enhanced sport provision. Enlist experienced coaches to support staff to deliver and develop a sustainable outdoor programme of forest school activities.
  • Embed improvements to: support our least active children; celebrate and help talented children reach their potential in their chosen sport or physical activity; participate in national awareness events and engage parents/carers as part of an integrated approach to promoting healthy lifestyles.
  • Harness OPAL strategies to promote and ensure the sustainability of the improved ‘active Thorncombe’ culture during the school day and aim to extend this to home life.
  • Work towards the Silver Award for School Games Mark by designing physical activity and competitive provision within school to create experiences that support character development, active habits for life and ambition to participate in competitive sports more widely. 

Downloads & Useful Links
Sports Funding 2022 23