Social Distancing, PE and Sports Day

Keeping safe, keeping active


With some year groups returning to school over the coming weeks, it is important to consider what can be achieved for pupils within the recent guidance provided by Government. PE lessons are an excellent opportunity to engage and entertain pupils while providing important opportunities to take part in lessons that feel familiar.

The education landscape will be different for all teachers and students for the foreseeable future, with multiple challenges to overcome. To reduce the risk of virus transmission in schools, social distancing practices will be required, inside and outside the classroom.

With this in mind, Maudesport has put together solutions and activities that may assist in delivering socially distanced PE lessons.

Social distancing

We are all familiar with the 2m rule, ensuring people are always kept two metres away from each other – transferring this regulation into school spaces will be key in the re-opening process. It will be important to visually present this to students using signage, markers, or tape, making it simple for children to understand where they need to be.

Maudesport have a range of marker products to choose from:

1. Court Marking Tape
2. Flat Round Marker
3. Marker Saucers
4. Pitchmarker
5. Line Marking Machine

For outdoor spaces where PE lessons take place, a simple but effective idea is to mark out 4m x 4m grids, providing groups of children with a safe space, enabling group play and teaching to continue en masse.

Indoor matting

If your lessons are constrained to indoor spaces due to wet weather, it is still possible to enforce social distancing with floor stickers or markers. You could bring the 4m x 4m grid system mentioned earlier, indoors.

Another alternative is to use floor mats to designate a students space, whether used for individual exercise or as allocate areas to move around from one place to the next.

Cleaning equipment

To reduce the risk of cross-contamination, make sure all PE equipment is kept disinfected and cleaned regularly, before and after every lesson. Maudesport recommends providing returning pupils with their own set of PE equipment, preventing cross-contamination.

This might be an excellent opportunity to include activities like yoga into lesson planning, adding a little mindfulness to your sessions, which can be delivered indoors or outdoors.

Check out Maudesport Yoga Lesson plan for simple and exciting lessons.

Personalised equipment

Providing students with personalised equipment means delivering PE sessions can be simple, safe and time-saving. Schools/parents could provide drawstring bags to keep equipment in and children can engage by personalising each piece, with their name, labels or stickers, making it feel special.

What could you put in it?  This will differ depending on your schools planned PE activities and lessons, other equipment availability and budgets.

Here are some budget-friendly class packs of equipment which could be an easy way to achieve this.

Sports Day

With planned Sports Days cancelled in their usual form because of staggered pupil return and social distancing regulations, it may still be possible to adapt plans and activities.

For many children, Sports Day is one of the highlights of the summer term, something to prepare and look forward to.

Schools could consider including individual activities and events, reducing the number of students on a track or spacing events over several days or weeks.

This will ensure you can engage students through taking part in sport but abide by social distancing rules. So, a track of eight may look more like 3 participants at one time, dependent on the lane width of your running track.

Time may be a concern when considering children carrying out individual challenges, however, this can be managed. We suggest that activities are spread over a longer time, over a full week or even two. You could even utilise break and lunchtimes to timetable your pupils to take part.

Individual activities do not mean that you must forget the idea of team play and competitive collaboration which children enjoy. Keeping traditional house/group scoring systems in place for groups to participate together by collating all individual scores into team scores, works well.

Maudesport activity kits (featured above) are an easy way to top up your stores of sports day equipment and ensuring every child can use their own equipment.

Check out our sports day suggested activity list and downloadable planner with some great activities and suggestions additional to your traditional running race.

Activities Find your equipment
Hurdles Race Folding hurdles / Alloy hurdles
Long Jump Junior standing long jump
Javelin Foam Javelins
Discus Discus flexible set
Egg & Spoon Race Egg & spoon
Jumping Sacks Race Jumping sacks
Obstacle course Find your equipment Next activity…
Skip Through a Hoop Deluxe hoops On to…
Egg & spoon 10m Egg & spoon On to…
Jumping Sack Jumping sacks On to…
Hopper Hoppers On to…
Run Finish
Obstacle course activity pack
Essentials Find your equipment
Stopwatches 010489NC
Start Clapper 010044
Megaphone 010070
Whistles 085332PK12
Team Bands 160550P40

Traditional games & activities

Most of our PE games and activities can be enjoyed indoors and on the school field and can be adapted for social distancing.

Football drills and penalty matches – you may not want students to play a full game but why not keep training in place and use this as an opportunity to compete through point systems and distance play. Allow children to still be competitive and play the game they love, whilst practising their skills at the same time.

Netball and basketball can also be played through practice shoots, individual play and collective team scoring. Just don’t forget to clean balls once your students have finished playing.

Tennis is a great sport for social distancing, simply ensure you have a bucket full of readily disinfected balls, to change the ball each time it is required throughout the game.

Athletics is also a good option for individual activities, from gymnastics, running and jumping to throwing activities. We recommend that you split your field or gym into a course of circular athletics activities, to keep the flow of students moving and reduce downtime and boredom for children.

Rounders is another game perfect for social distancing and a top choice for summertime play. Throwing activities are great for individual/small groups of students and great for coordination and control.

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