School level

Athletics Overview

The athletics strand provides a variety of opportunities to engage in the natural activities of running, jumping and throwing. The child needs to learn to associate joyfulness with these experiences. The emphasis should be on exploring and experimenting with the basic movements of walking, running, jumping and throwing through a wide range of informal play experiences. Building on these early experiences, children then develop the techniques of running, jumping and throwing as they progress through the primary school. Running activities can be devised to encourage children to run and to accept challenges to their personal performances by running faster or by running over a longer distance. Jumping activities will give the child an opportunity to explore various jumps and to develop technique for height and distance. The child participates in throwing activities using objects of different shapes and weights and develops a variety of throwing techniques, improving accuracy and distance.

Primary School PE Curriculum, page 3.

PDST Athletics Resources
Other Athletics Resources

Running in Athletics

This resource explores the FMS of running, warm ups, sprinting, relays and planning.

Introduction to physical literacy

Introduction to physical literacy exemplified through running, jumping and throwing examples.

Sample inclusive athletics lesson

Sample inclusive athletics lesson plan focussed on throwing.

120 non contact activities for physical education across the primary school

The PDST Primary PE team has developed non contact activities to support the teaching of Physical Education across the primary school.

Embedding FMS in PE – Move Well Move Often

Move Well Move Often Physical Literacy website with resources which can be used to develop FMS of running, jumping and throwing, motivation and confidence as well as knowledge and understanding in PE.

Embedding FMS in Athletics – sample lessons

Sample lesson plans highlighting how fundamental movement skills can be embedded in athletics lessons.

PSSI lesson plans

6 sample athletics lessons across all primary school class levels.

Embedding FMS in Athletics – Move Well Move Often

Resource which highlights specific Move Well Move Often skills and activities suitable for athletics.

Advanced athletics for middle and senior classes

Tips for teaching high jump, standing long jump, long jump, javelin, shot put, discus, sprinting, relays and hurdles.

Athletics stations

Throwing, jumping and running station activities.

An overview of strands and strategies for the organisation of athletics

Adapting activities and classroom management for running, jumping and throwing activities.

PE Homework – Active Every Day Activity Book and Homework Charts

PE homework activities and charts to complement PE strand based learning undertaken in school.  Specific athletics activities included.

Beyond the classroom

PE homework videos and activity packs to compliment PE FMS learning undertaken in school.

Skipping with a Rope

A short video clip example of a sample skipping rhyme ‘Teddy Bear’ from the PE at home resource. Further information about learning to skip with a rope is available here.



PE at home

A series of video clips that aim to complement strand based learning in PE at home.  8 athletics lessons for pupils to complete at home are included.

Selected open access resources which may be adapted to the Irish context from other organisations are linked below. Please note these are external resource not designed by the PDST and teachers should ensure they are appropriate for their own classes before use.

Elevating Athletics Primary Resource Pack

Elevating Athletics is designed to support teachers in delivering athletic activity in an inclusive, exciting and engaging manner.

Disentangling Inclusion in Primary Physical Education (DIPPE)

This online resource highlights practices, strategies and resources to support teachers to include all children in primary PE lessons, with a focus on children with additional needs. Gross/Fine motor skills, sensory, communication, physical capabilities, attention/concentration and social, emotional, relational are some of the areas explored.



Action for life – Athletics lessons for PE

Action for Life is an Irish heart foundation PE and SPHE programme for primary schools. The programme includes lesson plans with activities and resources.  This resource links to PDST Move Well Move Often and physical literacy development.  It includes athletics strand lessons for junior, middle and senior classes.  

PE Support Agencies

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