Any views expressed within media held on this service are those of the contributors, should not be taken as approved or endorsed by the University, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University in respect of any particular issue.

UKPE Cross-border Learning and Innovation Collaborative

UKPE Cross-border Learning and Innovation Collaborative

Making space for interdisciplinary research, dialogue, and collaboration in Physical Education and Health and Wellbeing

Opportunities to think and do PE differently through reading, professional discussions and curriculum reform – blog by PE teacher Matthew Trowbridge

In this sixth blog of the series, Matthew talks about how his thinking about PE has changed over the years, and how this has been influenced by his engagement with research, curriculum reform and cross-border dialogue.


Opportunities to think and do PE differently through reading, professional discussions and curriculum reform


My name is Matthew Trowbridge, and I am the Director of Sport and Wellbeing at a secondary community school in South Wales. I have been a physical education (PE) teacher since 2009 and in my current leadership position since 2020. Over this time, my knowledge and experiences of teaching PE have changed quite dramatically. This is because I am always looking for ways to develop my understanding of high quality teaching and learning. Recently, this search has led me to engage in more reading and networking, drawing on academic research to positively support – and even change – my approaches to teaching and learning. This desire to develop has also been partly instigated by the new Curriculum for Wales, which has compelled me to think about ways in which I can reimagine PE to meet the needs of all my learners, ensuring that it is meaningful and relevant. Through this reading, I have been drawn towards the Concept Curriculum, developed in response to a book called “Is PE in Crisis?” by Lee Sullivan (2021).

This reading and thinking, along with recent curriculum development in Wales, have led me to consider a variety of perspectives around PE, physical activity and school sport, and how PE in particular is beginning to be conceptualized in different ways. In fact, I have recently written another blog about different perspectives on PE (see: “What are we doing in PE today?” ) which has further enhanced my thinking and learning in this area. Sharing these ideas with my department, and being clear about the role and value of PE, will help us to strengthen the delivery of our curriculum and at the same time shift the negative perspectives held by some learners, parents and carers.

Taking part in the UKPE cross-border learning workshops was also useful to develop my thinking about the role and value of PE It was especially useful to be able to listen to and discuss issues with the PE teachers from Scotland during the workshops, as they have experienced similar curriculum reform to that in Wales relatively recently themselves. These discussions have also helped me to realise that I am not alone in my endeavours to do things differently, and have provided me with the confidence to continue to make meaningful change.

All of this learning enables me to think quite clearly about the future of PE in my school. As a priority, we will continue to develop a Concept Curriculum which clearly demonstrates our “MOVE” (Motivate, Obtain, Value, Explore) intent, making PE more meaningful, relevant, and inclusive to all. In other words, we aim to adopt a holistic approach, with some focus on developing physical literacies, while also considering the affective and reflective journeys of our learners. This will be supported by targeted models-based approaches that help us to reach these outcomes, and which align well with the statements, learning and progressions outlined in our new curriculum. In the meantime, I will continue to learn and grow, through engaging in more reading and seeking out more opportunities to discuss our subject with colleagues from different contexts and with different perspectives.

Leave a reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


Report this page

To report inappropriate content on this page, please use the form below. Upon receiving your report, we will be in touch as per the Take Down Policy of the service.

Please note that personal data collected through this form is used and stored for the purposes of processing this report and communication with you.

If you are unable to report a concern about content via this form please contact the Service Owner.

Please enter an email address you wish to be contacted on. Please describe the unacceptable content in sufficient detail to allow us to locate it, and why you consider it to be unacceptable.
By submitting this report, you accept that it is accurate and that fraudulent or nuisance complaints may result in action by the University.