Physical Education

The PE department’s vision is:

For pupils to engage in a wide range of sports and physical activities which will inspire them to lead healthy, active lives after they leave Dove House. Through curricular and extra-curricular activities, pupils will develop their social, communication and independence skills, resulting in them being confident, resilient and independent young people who are prepared for adulthood.

We have five fully trained PE staff, with several other members of staff holding PE and coaching qualifications. We pride ourselves on ensuring that everybody has a positive experience in PE, with activities that are adapted to suit individual needs.

Across all activities, the department’s ethos is positive, nurturing and inclusive in order to support pupils to achieve their potential. Our pupils become confident learners and develop important skills which prepare them for future education, employment and living healthy, active lives.

We are lucky enough to have our own sports hall, fitness gym, astro turf, cricket strip, play courts and mountain biking facilities on site. We also regularly use other local sports facilities such as Basingstoke Aquadrome, QM Sports Centre and Basingstoke Sports Centre.

Throughout the year, pupils take part in a range of different sports and physical activities as part of PE lessons, lunchtime and after school clubs, ‘My Time’ sessions, inter house competitions, fixtures, trips and residentials.

PE lessons

Pupils have 3 core PE lessons each fortnight which cover the following activities:

  • Invasion games – basketball, hockey, football and tag rugby.
  • Net games – volleyball, tennis and badminton.
  • Striking and fielding games – rounders and cricket.
  • Athletics and cross-country.
  • Gymnastics and trampolining.
  • Health Related Fitness

Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4

In addition to core PE, pupils in Key Stage 3 pupils also receive additional Personal Challenge, Fitness for Life, Swimming and Mountain Biking sessions each week:

  • The Personal Challenge programme develops social interaction and positive communication skills through participation in problem solving and team building challenges.
  • Fitness for Life lessons teach pupils how to live fit and healthy lives. Pupils gain knowledge about anatomy and physiology. They also learn how to use a fitness gym safely, independently and effectively.
  • Swimming: Pupils learn and improve skills during sessions that our qualified swimming teachers deliver at Basingstoke Aquadrome or QM Sports Centre. Further information is available here.
  • Mountain biking sessions are available for complete beginners up to experienced riders. There are opportunities to practice on a range of gradients and terrain on our school site. Riders learn about the components of a bike, speed management, gear selection, effective breaking and cornering, safety and maintenance.

Key Stage 4

Key Stage 4 pupils are also offered the opportunity to choose to study a PE qualification. We are currently offering a Gateway qualification in Sport and Active Leisure. As part of this qualification our pupils organise sports sessions for Maple Ridge students (our local feeder school).

Pupils on the Foundational and Vocational pathways in Year 11 also benefit from additional Personal Challenge sessions each week which are often delivered off site. These include adventurous activities (e.g. Climbing, Kayaking, Sailing, Raft Building, Caving and High Ropes) and those which develop skills for adulthood (e.g. gardening). Our aim is to help pupils develop their confidence, self-esteem and resilience by experiencing a range of different activities and gaining important life-skills.


Lunchtime and After School Clubs

Football and basketball activities are typically on offer every lunch time. Cricket opportunities are also delivered during lunch times in the summer term.

‘My time’ sessions

On Friday afternoons pupils can choose to take part in a range of other sports and physical activities. Some activities are delivered by external providers such as Hampshire Cricket. Girls Sport sessions also take place each Friday afternoon and involve trips to local sports facilities to try new activities such as Boxercise and Spinning.


Inter house competitions

All pupils are put into a House team within their first term at Dove House. They are based on major sporting venues in our region of the country; Ascot, Wimbledon, Wembley, Silverstone, Oval and Twickenham.

House Captains from Year 11 help the PE department to organise a range of Inter-House competitions across the year including Rounders and Sports Days.

Fixtures and other competitive opportunities

We regularly take part in fixtures against other special schools in the county as well as friendly competitions with local mainstream schools. Each year we take part in Football, Basketball, Netball, Boccia, New Age Kurling, Athletics, Swimming and Cricket events. We also compete in the Hampshire Games each summer.

Sports trips

We have taken pupils to see elite sports events such as the Women’s FA Cup Final at Wembley. We have also enjoyed visits from Olympic athletes who have inspired our pupils.

Activities Week trips are also organised to places such as Guildford Lido, Romsey Rapids and Top Golf Centres. A ‘Tour de Basingstoke’ cycle trip also takes place.


Each year the PE department organises residential trips. Opportunities include a week-long residential at Calshot Activity Centre and a camping trip.

Sports Presentation Evening

Every year our pupils amaze us with their achievements, commitment and enthusiasm for our subject and we celebrate this at our annual Sports Presentation Evening.