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Making every PE lesson count

Six principles to support great physical education teaching

By: James Crane


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Size8.5 x 5.31inches
PublishedOctober 2024

Availability: Coming Soon

Written by James Crane, Making Every PE Lesson Count: Six principles to support great physical education teaching provides realistic and practical strategies that will help teachers make abstract ideas more concrete and meaningful in both practical and theory PE.

PE provides a unique opportunity for some students to flourish and become professional athletes or achieve excellent academic outcomes. However, if you ask any PE teacher, their main aim is that all students leave school with a love of physical activity and lifelong participation in sport. The benefits on physical, mental and social health are undeniable. The place PE holds in the curriculum is therefore fundamental to society in that it acts as a vehicle to promote resilience, determination and perseverance.

Writing in the engaging style of the award-winning Making Every Lesson Count series, James Crane articulates the fundamentals of great PE teaching and shares simple and practical strategies designed to challenge students across all aspects of the subject. In an age of educational quick fixes and ever-moving goalposts, this precise and timely book returns to the fundamental questions that all PE teachers must consider: ‘What can I do to help my students thrive in the wide world of physical education?’

Making Every PE Lesson Count is underpinned by six pedagogical principles – challenge, explanation, modelling, practice, feedback and questioning. Good PE teaching is littered with all these principles, not as a checklist or plan as such, but to ensure that teaching is well structured and thought out.

This book aims to bring the evidence around effective teaching linked to the six pedagogical principles to life through the lens of a physical education teacher. It focuses on all aspects of PE in secondary schools with reference to real-life examples from a huge range of sports and physical activities and classroom theory. James links his findings back to the subject throughout and offers reflective questions for teachers to sharpen their practice.

Making Every PE Lesson Count aims to synthesise the latest research on teaching and learning and link it specifically to PE. There is a huge amount of evidence available for teachers, and this book acts as a practical guide that will successfully bridge the gap between the world of academic research and PE teaching.

Suitable for PE and sports teachers at any level, from ECTs to department leads.

Picture for author James Crane

James Crane

James Crane went to school in Cyprus before moving back to the UK to study Sports Coaching and Physical Education at University. He is now Assistant Headteacher at Durrington High School and Deputy Director at Durrington Research School. James is a keen sportsman having competed in tennis, swimming and athletics at regional levels, and has also represented England Colleges at an international level in football.


  1. I love the film Kes. This is no Kes, but to paraphrase Kevin Keegan, ‘I love it.’ Why? It’s as much about the learning as it is about the movement.

    James doesn’t sit on the fence, yet he does create a balance – a balance between research and practice. A pracademic, perhaps? He also manages to balance creating opportunities for elite athletes while encouraging all students to develop a love of physical activity.

    James has an uncanny ability to draw you into the setting, whether it be the sports hall or the track or field. You can get a real feel for the conversations between the teacher and students.

    Whether you’re new to the profession of teaching PE and/or sport or a seasoned pro, this book is for you. It’s filled with gentle nudges that will enable you to enable your students to succeed.

  2. This book is easy to read, written with passion and packed with practical ideas, tips and prompts for reflection. From trainees to experienced PE teachers, all are likely to find something that improves their practice in this book. It is structured so you can dip in and focus on a specific aspect or read it as a whole. Heads of department could easily take this as a template for their team’s CPD.

  3. Making Every PE Lesson Count: Six Principles to Support Great Physical Education Teaching is an insightful, accessible and personal narrative resource for developing and engaged physical educators. This book offers a range of intimate perspectives on how to tackle key considerations in the delivery of high-quality and accessible physical education. It has understanding and progress for learners at its heart – essential for all practitioners to understand and engage with, but also for anyone who may need to know more regarding what physical education is about, beyond sport and physical activity. The book offers comprehensive and practical approaches, with actionable strategies to create engaging and effective learning experiences. Diagrams and pictures provide useful summaries of key information. James Crane has captured the heart and soul of physical education, with a clear and accessible writing style, readers will quickly understand the challenges and rewards of teaching physical education.

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