Faster, Higher, Stronger Athletics

+ -
Learning Intentions

Pupils will:

  • practise, refine and develop skills relevant to the individual athletic events;
  • take on a variety of roles within an athletics competition; and
  • work with others to safely organise an athletics sporting event.
+ -
Curriculum Links

Physical Education
Developing pupils Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

Pupils should have opportunities to:

  • increase their knowledge, understanding and skills through frequent and regular participation in a balanced programme of athletics, games (invasion, fielding/striking and net/wall), gymnastics, swimming, dance and outdoor education;
  • practise, refine and develop skills and specific techniques (for example using strategies, tactics, choreographic and/or compositional principles) and use these with consistency;
  • develop their knowledge of safe practices and procedures when taking part in sport and physical activity;
  • develop the skills and capabilities required to analyse and improve their own and others work; and
  • develop the skills and capabilities required to work effectively with others in tasks that require co-operation, creativity, problem solving, planning and teamwork.

Learning Outcomes
Pupils should be able to:

  • work effectively with others;
  • demonstrate self management by working systematically, persisting with tasks, evaluating and improving own performance; and
  • communicate effectively in practical, oral, visual, written and ICT formats, showing clear awareness of audience and purpose.

Talking and Listening

Pupils should be enabled to:

  • listen to and take part in discussions, explanations, role plays and presentations;
  • contribute comments, ask questions and respond to others points of view;
  • communicate information, ideas, opinions, feelings and imaginings, using an expanding vocabulary; and
  • use non-verbal methods to express ideas and engage with the listener.

Using Mathematics
Pupils should be enabled to identify and collect information.

Self Management
Review and Improve

Pupils will:

  • be aware of their personal strengths, limitations and interests;
  • seek advice when necessary; and
  • review learning and some aspect that might be improved.

Time Management
Pupils will:

  • manage their behaviour in a range of situations;
  • organise and plan how to go about a task; and
  • learn ways to manage their own time.

Goals and Targets
Pupils will:

  • set personal targets and review them; and
  • focus, sustain attention and persist with tasks.

Working with Others
Learning With and From Others

Pupils will:

  • listen actively and share opinions;
  • give and respond to feedback; and
  • adapt their behaviour and language to suit different people and situations.

Roles and Responsibilities
Pupils will:

  • develop routines of turn-taking, sharing and co-operating; and
  • take personal responsibility for work with others and evaluate their own contributions to the group.

Learning For Life and Work
Pupils will:

  • develop positive relationships and respect for the differing capabilities of others through participation in a range of competitive and co-operative physical activities, for example show respect for and empathise with peers in a range of group activities within school and with other schools (Key Element: Mutual Understanding);
  • develop positive sporting behaviour and a sense of fair play, for example know how to conduct themselves in sporting competitions, accept authority and decisions of referees, judges and umpires (Key Element: Moral Character);
  • work with others to solve problems in a range of practical situations, for example by listening to others and responding to and building constructively on their ideas and views and understanding the need for rules (Key Element: Citizenship); and
  • develop, through practical tasks, their personal skills in preparation for future education/training/employment, for example using initiative, enterprise, creativity and skills in problem solving, decision making, leadership and co-operation (Key Element: Employability).

‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’ is the motto of the Olympic Games. Athletics is the perfect expression of this motto, as the competition requires athletes to run faster, throw further, jump higher and leap longer than their rivals.

In this activity, pupils take part in a combined athletics event. The emphasis is on pupils working as a group and taking on different roles to ensure they complete the task successfully. You can plan the activity over two, three or four lessons, depending on the experience and ability of the group.

Before undertaking this activity, make sure your pupils know the techniques and safety elements relevant to their individual athletic event. Your pupils should be equipped with the knowledge, understanding and skills to apply their learning safely in a competitive situation. They should also be able to take on a variety of roles such as timekeeper, starter, measurer, judge and recorder across a number of athletic events.

Combined Athletics Events

Using ‘Think, Pair, Share’, ask your pupils to name as many athletics events that will be staged at the Olympic Games as they can. Link these to athletics events that the pupils completed in school.

Highlight the combined events in athletics and the individual sports that make up each event. For example:

  • the heptathlon consists of the 100 m hurdles, high jump, shot-put, 200 m, long jump, javelin and 800 m; and
  • the decathlon consists of the 100 m, long jump, shot-put, high jump, 400 m, 110 m hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1500 m.

Refer to an athlete who will be aiming for gold in one of the combined events at Rio 2016, for example Jessica Ennis in the heptathlon.

Lesson Organisation

Organise your pupils into groups of five or six. Set each group the task of running their own combined event, comprising three athletics sports.

As your pupils organise themselves and others, safety is of paramount importance. Ensure they have sufficient knowledge, understanding and skills from previous learning to undertake the activity safely and appropriately.

You can run this activity in a number of ways over a series of lessons to suit the experience and ability of the group. Below is a list of options.

Option A

State the three athletics sports that are included in a combined event, for example 100m, long jump, and shot-put. Divide the class into groups.

In each lesson, focus on one of the sports so that each group takes part in the same sport at the same time in different areas.

Option B

State the three athletics sports that are included in a combined event.

Rotate the groups between the three athletics sports so that you are running all three sports simultaneously in one lesson in different areas.

If you choose this option, make sure to position yourself so that you can see all groups to ensure safety.

Option C

Allow your pupils to choose the three athletics sports.

Allocate each athletic sport a specific area to ensure the safe use of space.

Each group then works within their designated area.

If you choose this option, make sure to position yourself so that you can see all groups to ensure safety.

Your pupils are responsible for safely organising and officiating each athletics event to ensure that each pupil safely achieves their best performance in their three chosen sports.

Roles and Responsibilities

Outline the different roles that pupils must take on during the event to ensure they complete it successfully. Specify what each role entails, for example:

Track events require a:

  • starter;
  • timekeeper(s); and
  • track judge.

Field events require:

  • a recorder/judge; and
  • measurers (2).

You may wish to provide organising and officiating cards for each event, outlining key points for safely organising the event and procedures for officiating correctly and measuring accurately. Use the Shot-Put Organising and Officiating Resource Card as an example.


Once each group has successfully completed an event, ask them to complete the Faster, Higher, Stronger Score Sheet before moving onto their next chosen event. On this sheet they must record the name of the athletic event, each athlete’s best performance and a correlating points score. Ensure your pupils know how to score each event. You can use the ideas for a points system listed below:

Points Systems can be based on:

  • places in the group, for example six points for first place, five points for second place; or
  • performance (this can be adjusted to suit the group’s ability) for example in girls’ shot-put a distance of over 6.00 m = 10 points; over 5.50 m = 8 points; over 5.00 m = 6 points; over 4.50 m = 4 points; over 4.00 m = 2 points; and over 3.00 m = 1 point.

Once each group has successfully staged all three events and completed their score sheets, pupils can calculate the total points score for each athlete in the group and award the gold, silver and bronze medal positions to athletes who have come first, second and third respectively.

You will need

Athletics equipment

An outdoor area used for athletics

Clipboards and pencils

A points system devised to suit ability of group


Faster Higher Stronger Score Sheet

Shot put Organising and Officiating Resource Card

Further Information

Jessica Ennis-Hill: Rio Olympics is when I want to

Sports and