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Circuit Training (Years 5 & 6)

Ideas contributed by Xanthe Burchill -
Click here to see the recording sheet

Xanthe writes:

This is an adapted design to the circuit training that I have been doing for several years. You do need to be aware of certain things that children should not be doing, step-ups on a bench etc, because of the damage to their knees. This particular circuit allows for a cardio vascular work out followed by a strengthening task, and as always it can be adapted to suit the needs of the children.

Our school hall is very small, and so we needed to omit the shuttle runs in favour of running on the spot (knees up!), but this did not deter the children from trying any less. On warmer days, this can also be taken out side.

My class love doing this, and we often run it as a 6-week programme, building up strength and stamina, or as a one off because the hall just happens to be free!

As a precaution, we found that it was much easier to do an aerobic style warm up, as when the equipment is out there isn't much space!

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1. Line jumps: Jumping across a line, making sure that the whole foot touches the floor. Adaptation: skipping.

2. Squats: with backs against the wall, slide down so that the legs are bent and the knees are bent at 90. Adaptation: squat without the wall, make sure there is a straight line from ankle to knee and that bottom goes out behind the feet, back straight.

3. Spotty dogs, star jumps or jumping jacks: the movement of arms above the head makes it a much harder workout. Jumps may be slow of fast, depending on the ability of the child. BEND KNEES on landing, making sure knees don't go further than toes.

4. Bean bag hold: arms are parallel to the floor and they have to hold the beanbags up for the whole time. This exercise can be made more difficult by asking the children to slowly rotate their arms!

5. Running on the spot: if children have bare feet, make sure this is done on a thin, gymnastic mat. Again this can be made harder by encouraging the children to get their knees higher.

6. Ball roll or hoop-la-hoop: the idea is to exercise the waist and stomach. They can either roll a football around their waists, making a large circle with their hips at the same time (large range of movement), or they can twirl a hoop around their waist. The boys tend to prefer the ball rolls. This can be made more difficult by using a small ball/ different shape ball etc.

We set up the stations like this going in a clockwise direction around the hall. We begin with 20 seconds on each station, and we change very quickly, no rest! That's why I have built in alternating stations, it allows for a rest. We then build up in 5-second intervals, until we have reached the maximum of 30 secs. They quickly learn that their only competition is themselves, and work really hard to do more each time.

If you had lots of room this can be adapted by working in pairs, and, whilst one of the pair is on the station, the other is jogging around the outside of the circuits.

I hope you have as much fun with this as we do, good luck.



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