real PE – a unique perspective!

Written by Tim Dancer, Director of real PE at Create Development

Welcome to the first of three instalments of ‘real PE – a unique perspective’. With over 10,000 practitioners trained (at the time of writing), real PE continues to gain momentum as a solution to support practitioners to give children the best early experiences of physical activity and PE and as Director of real PE, I am both proud and humbled by the impact and anecdotes I see and hear on a daily basis. However, for my blog, I wanted to offer a unique perspective on a teacher establishing real PE in their school. The twist…the teacher in question is my wife! I make no guarantees that I will still have a wife come the third instalment. It appears that whilst I score pretty well with teachers who attend one of my real PE Create Learning Communities, when it comes to my most dearest, I have many failings – apparently. To help visualise the odd couple see the photo below.

Tim and Sonia


After a year of supply teaching, my wife was offered a 0.7 contract to teach Foundation and Key Stage 1 PE whilst also covering the Key Stage 2 NQT’s Planning, Preparation and Assessment (PPA) in a local school. She was delighted! In her mind, she got the perfect job – teaching the best subject in a school that has given her free reign to develop a new, positive and inclusive culture in PE – creating fabulous core memories (see Ronnie Heath blog by clicking here). Thank goodness she came to me for some help (it would have been very embarrassing if not).

This blog will serve up her journey through establishing, embedding and celebrating real PE with the pupils and staff.

Step 1: Establishing real PE – the children and resources

Before she even attended Day 1 of a real PE programme, she took full advantage of me and requested I spend an afternoon over the park with her showing her how some of the resources for real PE fit together. We looked odd. Me, 6ft 4” and looking like a pirate, our two children (the eldest laughing a lot, the youngest eating grass and sporadically chasing dogs) and her, all playing a variety of games, singing songs and running about with the colourful First FUNS cards and storybooks in our hands. We got looks. With an evening recap to ensure she understood the key elements, she took the first step, like many teachers who take real PE back to their school, by getting her teeth into the resources with her children.

Now, she was a bit nervous, her first day covered year Reception, Year 1, 3 and 6…a busy day! I did receive a call in the car on the way to work: “Is it OK if I play throw tennis indoors?” followed by “What’s the password for the interactive stories again?” I must have answered these well as we did not end the call with an argument. She came home smiling. Four weeks into the new term and things are still going well. The children are engaged and included in every aspect of the lesson, progress is already clear (those FUNS student cards really are genius!) and activity levels are high.

However, after a particularly wet day she came home looking frustrated. “The Year 1s and 3s just didn’t click today. They enjoyed the games and FUNS challenges but struggled sharing the equipment and the Year 1s just couldn’t follow instructions.”

Time for us to explore Multi-Abilities!

Keep you eye open for Tim’s next blog instalment.