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Guiding principles of a meaningful sports day at Huili

23 Apr 2019
Huili’s first sports day is fast approaching (April 25th) and the theme for this inaugural event is  movement. Not only is movement a natural daily necessity and an essential element of any sport, it can also enrich lives by creating meaningful experiences and memories. In an educational context, meaningful experiences are those that hold personal significance to the learner. Sports day at Huili aims to allow our children to become physically educated but also to help them understand how movement can help them to flourish in many different ways.

Below are eight guiding principles we follow at Huili to make sure our upcoming sports day will hold personal significance for all our pupils, as they come to understand and appreciate the importance of movement.

1Creating Meaning

We believe Huili pupils will find their own meanings in forms of movement, so we seek to guide the exploration of this. Dance will feature heavily in the sports day for example, pupils will have the chance to create their own routines and generate meaning through movement.

2Meaningful Experiences

We believe in creating meaningful experiences within physical education, so we intentionally look to prioritise the interplay of fun, social interactions, challenge, motor competence and personally relevant learning during special events like sports day. For example, each pupil will be able to individualise their sports day experience by signing up to different events that particularly excite or appeal to them.


We believe that having fun is an essential part of enjoying sports, school and life in general. We want our pupils to have fun every day, in every lesson and particularly in big, exciting whole-school events like sports day. Not only does the fun factor of any learning experience help pupils with engagement, it also improves their retainment of knowledge and encourages them to stretch and challenge themselves in a constructive way. We also want pupils to have fun together with their parents and teachers, demonstrating to them the importance of community and shared experiences.

4Social Interaction

We believe that positive social interactions are at the heart of meaningful movement experiences in PE, so we seek to carefully consider the way we organise opportunities for social interactions between pupils and with pupils and teaches during sports day. We feel that it is important to allow pupils of multiple age groups, grade levels and abilities to work cooperatively towards the same goal.

5Challenge and Competition

We believe that an appropriate element of challenge in sport leads to greater enjoyment and continued motivation, so we provide experiences that place an emphasis on the challenge of completing the tasks set on sports day. This helps pupils resist the urge to view the value of their sporting experiences purely through the narrow lens of winning and losing.

6Motor Competence

We believe that acquiring and refining motor competence is one of the best ways to develop pupils’ confidence, so we take a holistic approach to competence. Sports day practice sessions are already underway to refine and develop these skills in the run up to the big day.

7Personally Relevant Learning

We believe that meaningful movement is an important part of a healthy, happy life, so we explicitly create opportunities during sports day for pupil choice, allowing them to develop their own image of how movement might contribute to leading better lives.


We believe that teaching to delight pupils will provide them with a springboard for future sustained participation in physical activity, so we offer a range of engaging and creative ways during sports day to challenge and stretch our pupils in new and inspiring ways.