Faster, Higher, Stronger

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Learning Intentions

Children will:

  • practise, refine and develop skills of running, jumping and throwing in relation to athletic activities;
  • take on a variety of roles during group activities;
  • work with others to safely complete a combined athletics event; and
  • observe, evaluate and discuss the actions and movements of self and others.
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Curriculum Links

Pupils should be enabled to speak clearly and adapt ways of speaking to audience and situation.

Using Mathematics
Pupils should be enabled to:

  • explore ideas, make and test predictions and think creatively;
  • identify and collect information; and
  • read, interpret, organise and present information in mathematical formats.

Pupils should be enabled to:

  • participate in activities and physical challenges to learn, understand and continue to develop the core skills of running, jumping and throwing in a co-operative and competitive context using a variety of equipment;
  • progress from simple running, jumping and throwing activities towards becoming involved in more difficult personal challenges and through them, improving performance;
  • practise running over short and long distances;
  • practise jumping for height and distance;
  • practise throwing activities for accuracy and distance from a stationary position to a controlled run-up; and
  • record and analyse personal performance in a variety of ways.

Pupils will:

  • listen actively and share opinions;
  • develop routines of turn-taking, sharing and co-operating; and
  • give and respond to feedback.

Working with Others
Pupils will:

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

Language and Literacy
Pupils will be able to listen to, describe, evaluate and appreciate movements, emotions and feelings, of themselves and others.

Mathematics and Numeracy
Pupils will be able to use number, distance, direction, time, shape and space to improve variety and quality of movements, and handling data and using ICT resources to inform progress, for example athletics, health and fitness;

Personal Development and Mutual Understanding
Pupils will:

  • learn about how the body develops, how to respect their own body and how to keep it safe and healthy by making the right choices; and
  • work with and show respect for others and by accepting and respecting differences in physical abilities.


‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’ is the well-known motto for the Olympic Games. Athletics is the perfect expression of this Olympic motto, as the competition requires athletes to run faster, throw further, jump higher and leap longer than their rivals. The activities in this section help pupils explore the motto of the Olympic Games further by taking part in activities that aim to help them improve their performance in athletics.

Use your existing athletics schemes of work for the relevant lesson activities and specific teaching points. Where possible, encourage the children to demonstrate to others and provide opportunities for self- and peer-assessment. The activities included will help prepare for a Key Stage 2 Olympic and Paralympic Sports Event.

It is essential to warm up and cool down properly, teach the correct techniques, and consider all safety risks, especially in throwing and jumping activities.

Prior Learning
The children should have completed the classroom-based activities related to the Olympic motto in Background to the Olympic Games. They should also have discussed the meaning of the motto and be able to relate it to their own experiences.


Two to four lessons based on ‘Faster’ theme

Ask the children to practise running activities, working individually, in pairs and in small groups. You may use any of the activities described below to facilitate this.

Encourage the children to practise their running technique over short distances (for example using cones spread out 10 metres apart). Encourage them to break down the skill by:

  • running with high knee lifts;
  • running without using their arms, then running again using their arms; or
  • bending and pumping their arms naturally.

Discuss the differences in these techniques and the importance of using your arms to help run faster. Encourage the children to keep their heads up and look forward, moving opposite arms to legs and keeping knees high and facing forward while running

The children could also try walking for ten seconds, jogging for ten seconds and sprint running for ten seconds, repeating this sequence several times.

Encourage the children to practise the sprint run over 15 metres, by running to a hoop (), running around it and back again. Ask the children to repeat this, encouraging them to improve their technique each time. Ask them to run in groups of five or six. Watch and assess their technique and provide feedback during and after these activities.

S -----------
S -----------
S -----------
S -----------
S -----------
S -----------

Key: S = start = hoop

Revising the start line position, ask the children to crouch start, give the ‘ON YOUR MARKS, GET SET, GO!’ command.

Shuttle Run Relay
Divide the class into groups of four. Ask one child from each group to begin at the Start (S) marker. They then sprint run to the first cone/hoop, () then back to the start, run out to the second cone/hoop and back to the start, etc. The next child from each group starts to run when the first person has run in and out to all the cones/hoops. The children must touch the cones/hoops each time. They could carry a baton or beanbag to pass over to the next person once they have completed their shuttle run. The last person must run through the finish line to finish the race for their group. (This activity is good to use for sports day as it is very inclusive and can be adapted for children with special needs.)

S ----------- ------------------F
S ----------- ------------------F
S ----------- ------------------F
S ----------- ------------------F
S ----------- ------------------F

Key: S = start = hoop F = finish

You can vary this activity by:

  • using different objects to carry and pass over;
  • varying the distance between cones/hoops;
  • asking the children to carry a beanbag to each cone/hoop and set it down for the next person in the group to collect; or
  • asking the children to perform an action at each cone, for example a star jump or placing the hoop over their body and jumping through it.

Ask the children to practise a sprint run over a longer distance (for example 30 metres) using the correct starting position, the ‘On Your Marks, Get Set, Go!’ command and a finishing line. Encourage the correct running technique and running through the finishing line, rather than stopping at it.

Encourage the children to practise relay races in small groups, passing the hand baton to each other. Emphasise the correct running and baton-passing technique.

Encourage the children to practise running using obstacles, for example running and carrying beanbags, cones or quoits, running in and out of, or over, obstacles.


Two to four lessons based on the ‘higher’ theme.

Working individually, in pairs or in small groups, encourage the children to practise jumping activities, for example:

  • five basic jumps;
  • standing broad jump;
  • high jump; and
  • hurdles and long jump..

These activities may include:

Practising the five basic jumps:

  • 1-1 same (hop);
  • 1 other foot (leaping);
  • 2-2 (bouncing);
  • 2-1 (hopscotch); and
  • 1-2 (long jump, safe landing).

Encourage safe landings at all times. The children should practise these jumps at break and lunch times, and at home.

practising jumping on the spot, taking off on two feet and landing on two feet;

practising jumping in and out of hoops spread over the space, two feet to two feet or hopping in and out of hoops;

practising a small run, taking off on one foot and landing on two feet; ask the children to jump as high as they can and land safely; and

the jumping frogs/pirates game the children jump from mat to mat (vary the distance between mats).

Jumping for Distance
Demonstrate the three phases of jumping:

  • preparation;
  • take-off; and
  • landing.

Allow the children time to practise. Ensure they remember to:

  • bend their ankles, knees and hips in preparation;
  • swing their arms behind their bodies;
  • look forward;
  • swing their arms forward on take-off; and
  • jump and land on both feet (bending ankles, knees and hips).

Find a line or marker in the hall or in an outside space. Ask the children to:

  • place their feet on the line;
  • get into the ready position; and
  • swing their arms backwards and forwards to help them to jump further.

They can then jump forwards as far as possible, landing safely. Encourage the children to practise a standing broad jump every time they come to a line or marker, trying to improve their technique and distance each time.

Standing Broad Jump Challenge
Challenge each child to jump their own height. Ask them to work in groups of three or four, using two mats. Ask each child, in turn, to lie down with their heels at the take-off line. Another member of the group marks the point child’s head reaches to. Each child must try to jump as far as his/her own height marker. Ask how many jumps it takes to jump their height. Who can jump further than their own height?

Jumping for Height
Encourage the children to think about and practise the technique required to jump for height. Each child should:

  • get into a good starting position with ankles, knees and hips slightly bent;
  • keep their head up and upper body straight;
  • swing their arms behind their body ready to jump;
  • crouch down ready to jump;
  • straighten their legs from a crouched position as they spring upwards, swinging their arms to the front of their body; and
  • bend their ankles, knees and hips for a soft, quiet landing.

Ask the children, working in groups of two to four, to set out the area with low obstacles to jump over, for example:

  • taped or chalk lines marked on the floor;
  • flat sequencing spots;
  • plastic canes/jumping rods;
  • markers/spacers; or
  • skipping ropes.

Encourage the children to practise jumping over the range of low-level hurdles, jogging between the obstacles/hurdles.

Sargent Jump Task
In groups of three, ask the children to practise the vertical jump (Sargent jump) by standing sideways on, close to a wall and jumping from a two-footed take-off. They should bend their knees on take-off. Encourage them to jump as high as they can to touch a target on the wall with their fingers, landing safely on two feet with knees bent.

In each group one person jumps, one person teaches and prepares the jumper and the third person measures the height of the jump on the wall, using a piece of chalk or tape. Encourage the children to practise and repeat this, trying to improve the height they jumped each time. If they touch their target, move it higher.

Encourage the children to practise running and jumping over small hurdles, concentrating on the correct technique each time. Ask them to think about which leg they are going to take off from to jump over the hurdle (explain to them that this is call the ‘lead leg’ in athletics). Encourage them to practise, using either leg, letting them decide which feels more comfortable or easiest to use.

Hurdle Challenge
Organise class into groups of four, with two children at the each end of the area. Ask each group to practise hurdle relay races. Each child must run a short distance and then jump over four hurdles () placed five metres apart. They must run through the line to touch the next person in their group, who repeats the sequence and jumps over the hurdles back down the area. Continue until all in the group have completed the race twice.

1,2 3,4
1,2 3,4
1,2 3,4
1,2 3,4
1,2 3,4

Key: = hurdle 1, 2, 3 and 4 children in group


Two to four lessons based on ‘Stronger’ theme.

Ask the children to work individually, in pairs and in small groups, to practise throwing activities using a range of equipment including:

  • foam javelins;
  • small footballs;
  • beanbags;
  • foam discus; and
  • foam shot-puts.

When throwing any object please remember the safety of all the children.

Activities may include:

  • throwing objects to a partner for distance and accuracy, encouraging the children to practise using underarm and overarm throws;
  • throwing beanbags/quoits into a target such as a hoop, increasing the difficulty by placing the hoop further away or using a smaller hoop as a target;
  • throwing a ball to a partner using a two-handed overarm throw, encouraging them to try to increase the distance but maintain their technique and accuracy; or
  • throwing a coloured beanbag into a corresponding coloured hoop, counting the number of accurate throws, and placing the hoops further away to make the task more difficult.
  • Foam javelin throwing/small ball throw.
    Encourage the children to practise their technique before focusing on distance. Ask them to stand side on to throw, placing the leg opposite to their throwing arm forward. Ask them to position their throwing arm and javelin straight out behind them. Encourage them to bend their elbows past their ears, pulling their arms through and releasing the javelin/ball forwards, keeping their heads facing forwards. They should bend their knees when they release the object, transferring their weight from back to front foot when throwing.
  • Place cones at 5, 10, 15 and 20 metre intervals. Ask the children to throw the javelin/ball to reach the cones. Allocate points to each cone, for example 5 m = 2 points, 10 m = 4 points. In groups of four, encourage the children to work together to throw, measure and record the points scored after each member of the group has had five throws.
  • Ask the children to sit on a seat or bench and practise throwing a ball, using an overhead throw from a seated position. Measure the distance they throw the ball from a seated position on the floor. Repeat this exercise using a foam javelin.
  • Ask the children to practise different throwing techniques: overhead, one hand overarm, two hands overarm and one hand underarm (bowls). Ask them to find out which technique achieves the furthest throw.
  • Teach the children how to play Boccia, a form of bowling seen in the Paralympics.

Faster:Higher:Stronger- All Together Now!

With the children working co-operatively, in teams of four or five, ask them to decide on one running, one throwing and one jumping activity that can be measured or have points awarded for it. For example you can award points for throwing certain distances in the seated overhead throw, or each team could gain points for completing the beanbag shuttle race correctly. You may wish to choose the three activities or give the children the opportunity to have a class vote on which activities/races they have enjoyed most over the last few lessons. An example of the three events may include:

  • bean bag shuttle race;
  • standing broad jump; and
  • seated overhead ball throw.

If necessary, practise or demonstrate each activity and agree on an appropriate scoring system for each activity/race. Run a mini competition, asking the children to complete the activities and record their results on the Score Card.

Back in class, encourage the children to record each team’s results and discover who has the most points. They can record the results on the second page of the Score Card and display them using a range of ICT software.

Discuss how the children could improve their performance, what their best events were, how well they worked as a team and the importance of trying your best. Ask the class to think about who displayed the different Olympic values. See What are your Values? for more information on the Olympic and Paralympic values.

It may be useful to run this combined athletics activity two or three times with the children working in the same or different groups. You can use the three chosen events in the Olympic and Paralympic School Event. The children should have experienced, practised and refined all the activities in their teams before the school event.

You will need:

PE resources including:
beanbags, small footballs, foam javelins, foam shot-puts, foam discus, eggs and spoons, small hurdles, measuring tape, cones, markers, finishing tape/rope/line/ football nets/cones

Specific resources for boccia, or adapt own resources


Score Card