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It’s that dreaded time of the year…! Or, as it has been in the last 2 years, those times of the year. The sports hall has been taken for exams (again) and the PE department has lost its primary teaching space. Here are a few suggestions of what you can do during these times, and how to make better use of the facilities you still have:

1. Double-up in the fitness suite

We can hear you all shouting at the screen “that’s not possible” but, if you have the right equipment, it definitely is. This is a great opportunity to introduce a team indoor rowing event- 5 or 6 pupils per team (6 rowers; one class fully engaged) who need to row as far as they can within 30 minutes. The pupils decide how often to change, how to split the 30-minutes and how to make the transition between different rowers as smooth and time-effective as possible. At the end of the 30 minutes, the team submits the total distance rowed.

Do you have a House system within the school? If so, use these results to go towards a full-year competition.

Whilst half of the class is fully involved in this activity the other half can use all other equipment within the fitness suite under the supervision of the second teacher. The pupils simply swap activities halfway through the lesson.

2. Orienteering

What a great activity to include within the curriculum – and very different from the normal offering whilst using no set facility. Once the initial time has been dedicated to setting up different courses around the school grounds, they should last several years… as long as you put all markers away from the reach of children!

This is a very good activity for cross-curricular links as well. In addition to map reading, you could also include QR codes on the points. These could include equations for maths or science or even words in different languages! 

Here is a website which could help with the set-up: Find events | iOrienteering

3. Make a new facility

Could you build a climbing wall on an external wall within the school? Not confident you’d get funding for this? How about a 3m bouldering wall? Here are some examples: Traverse Walls | Kong Climbing Ltd. (

For the summer season could a couple of beach volleyball courts be placed on that area of the field which is never really used? The set-up costs are relatively low and you would have a new facility which could be used between Easter and October half-term every year.

4. Alternative spaces in school

Our final suggestion is to see if there is another classroom space in the school which can be cleared of tables and desks for you to use over the exam period. This might not be required in the summer exam season when it’s nice outside, but during winter mocks it could be a good compromise between the PE department and the exams officer.

If the space is large enough, you could teach exercise to music, do a balance-based gymnastics lesson, or even a Yoga session. Any physical activity is better than none, some pupils may relish a change in activity.

We hope you have found these suggestions useful. You may also find our previous blog where we discuss wet weather lesson plans, useful in helping you to plan around a loss of facilities.

Alternatively, if you would like an online platform that can assist you with sophisticated lesson plans and schemes of work then check out PEOffice’s content that can assist you and your colleagues. You can also call the team on 01909 776 900, send an email to or book a free online demonstration here.