Schools - British Gymnastics

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At British Gymnastics our mission is to help gymnasts of every level to amaze themselves and others, your role as a school is imperative to this. The Partner School Programme aims to support teachers to feel confident in delivering high quality gymnastics to participants, making their first taste of gymnastics a positive one.

British Gymnastics Partner School Programme has two packages available:

For £35* for this academic year only (Jan-July 31st). a Premium Partner School will have access to:

  • 24 extra-curricular session plans with strong curriculum links. Plans include teaching points, equipment tips and progression opportunities.
    pdf View one of our session plans (49 KB) pdf
    (49 KB)
  • New for 2021. 5 Active Classroom Cards. These are 10 minute gymnastics-inspired activities to deliver in a classroom space to increase activity.
  • An extensive delivery guide including how to progress gymnasts of different abilities and how to create your own session plans in the future.
  • New for 2021. Access to inclusive gymnastics e-learning.
  • New for 2021. Online CPD workshops calendar.
  • Digitial access to Introductory Aerobics, Key Step and Gym Challenge.
  • Entry in to a prize draw for a Great Britain squad gymnast to visit your school.
  • Discount for British Gymnastics events.
  • Termly newsletter with top tips, offers and information.
  • Covid-19 support and guidance.
  • New for 2021. Eligibility to enter GymFusion

 Alternatively, as a Partner School, free of charge you will have access to:

  • 8 extra-curricular session plans with strong links to the curriculum.
    pdf View one of our session plans (49 KB) .
  • New for 2021, 5 Active Classroom Cards. These are 10 minute gymnastics-inspired activities to deliver in a classroom space to increase activity.
  • Access to online inclusion CPD workshops.
  • A delivery guide to explain the use of the session plans.
  • Discount for British Gymnastics events.
  • Termly newsletter with top tips, offers and information.
  • Digital access to Introductory Aerobics, Key Step and Gym Challenge.
  • Covid-19 support and guidance.
*The 20/21 registration year has been reduced to January 4th to 31st July 2021. The registration fee has been discounted to reflect this.

To register as a Partner School, click here

For any queries, contact -








The Key Step Gymnastics competition resource has been put together in response to numerous requests for a competition framework for ‘grass-roots' development in Primary schools.

Although it is designed as a toolkit for Partnerships the Key Step pack is suitable for use in individual schools, leisure centres, gymnastic clubs and district/county associations.

Although the pack is foremostly a competition resource, teachers report that information from the pack e.g. example routines, the supporting DVD and advice about individual skills progressions, has helped to enhance curricular PE lessons.

Key Step - The Gymnastics

There are 3 gymnastic areas, known as ‘disciplines' in Key Step. These are floor, vault and body management.

  1. Floor: Sequences of gymnastic skills performed on a small matted area. Routines include balancing, jumping, rolling and flexibility skills. Music is optional at level 3
  2. Vault: Skills are performed travelling on and off a bench (level 1) or box top (levels 2 & 3), at levels 2 & 3 vault can be taught with or without springboard
  3. Body Management: Routines designed to prepare the body for gymnastics. Performed on a small matted area, routines include strength, flexibility, balance and co-ordination skills

For each ‘discipline' there are 3 levels of routines (explained below).

Key Step - Ability Levels

There are 3 levels of routines within each discipline (Floor, Vault and Body Management). Key Step 1 is aimed at complete beginners. Each subsequent level involves progressively more advanced skills.

The age-related advice below should be considered as a loose guidance. Pupils should progress through the levels according to their ability; Newcomers to gymnastics should start at Key Step 1.

  1. Key Step 1 = Key Stage 1 (National Curriculum Years 1 & 2)
  2. Key Step 2 = Lower Key Stage 2 (National Curriculum Years 3 & 4)
  3. Key Step 3 = Upper Key Stage 2 (National Curriculum Years 5 & 6)

Key Step - The Pack


The pack includes...

  • 1 card depicting each key step routine at each level (9 cards in total)
  • Coaching points and tips for teaching individual skills on the reverse of each card
  • Posters showing each routine
  • DVD showing routines and demonstrating individual skill progressions
  • Sample certificates and badges for competitions
  • Guidelines on organising and delivering competitions
  • Information about judging
  • Advice about apparatus layout for competitions
  • Template documents useful for organising a competition
  • Score cards for a competition

Key Step - Getting Started

You can order a Key Step pack by contacting

0845 1297 129 option 4 - British Gymnastics, Ford Hall, Lilleshall National Sports Centre, Newport, Shropshire, TF10 9NB.

Or online at the British Gymnastics Online Shop

If you are going to begin using Key Step during your school lessons or club, or if you are going to set up a competition you may find it useful to talk to;

  1. The Primary Link Teacher for PE from your school
  2. The School Sports Co-ordinator attached to your school
  3. The School Games Organiser attached to your school
  4. Your Local Organising Committee
  5. Your local GymMark accredited club
  6. Your local Gymnastics Development Officer

Key Step - Running a cluster Key Step gymnastics competition

When running your competition please consider the following

·    Establish which levels of Key Steps competition will be offered and for which age group
·    Approximate number of entries
·    Festival or Competition
·    Number of children to a team
·    Venue and available space

When you have agreed the above, produce a draft schedule. The draft schedule should include 3 stations (floor, vault and body management)

If you wish to reduce the time it would take to run a festival it is possible to incorporate just the Body Management routines alongside the Vault, or the Floor Skills routine with the vault for competition at KS1.

Key Step - Example Schedules

For example schedules for a key step competion - click here

Key Step - Judging

A Key Step judging course has been developed to support the competitions. The course lasts 3 hours and is suitable for candidates with little or no gymnastic or judging experience. The course aims to; -

  1. Provide a foundation level in judging
  2. Encourage more young people to become involved in judging
  3. Encourage teachers/coaches to extend their knowledge of gymnastics
  4. Give teachers/coaches/young people the confidence to judge at beginner level

The course is suitable for candidates aged 13yrs+ and is an excellent option for young leaders and young volunteers.

Key Steps - Competitions

It is estimated that between thirty and forty five thousand children in England took part in the 460 Key Step competitions and festivals in the 2009/10 academic year. Many children will have been involved in more than one event if they were able to follow the pathway to Level 3 (See pathway diagram below).

The challenge now must be to sustain and develop the competition framework to ensure a significant number of these young people can perform at the next level. For floor and vault gymnastics this opportunity is already available through the British Schools Gymnastics Association (BSGA) competition programme.

Floor and Vault competition Pathway

Key Step 1
Floor, Vault and Body Management for Years 1 & 2
(Age related but local flexibility)

Key Step 2
Floor, Vault and Body Management for Years 3 & 4
(Age related but local flexibility)
Key Step 3

Floor, Vault and Body Management for Years 5 & 6
(Age related but local flexibility)

Leading to
BSGA Floor and Vault Competition for Years 4 to 13 at County, Regional and National Level


Some things you should know about the BSGA Floor and Vault Competition - Key Step 4

  • It represents very simple progression from Key Step 3.
  • The floor routine can be made up of six very easy moves from the British Gymnastics (BG) Proficiency Award Scheme charts (See the table of permitted moves)
  • A full 12 metre floor area is used for the competition. In order to practice without a full floor area, you can measure space available in your own gym/hall and then set out mats in appropriate locations to perform the agilities. You also need a vaulting box at least 1 metre high, a springboard and suitable mats for a landing surface.
  • Usually teams compete in their region with the winners of each section qualifying for the National finals. It is still possible in some regions and in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, (in some age groups), to go direct to the National final.
  • The competition is accessible to all because most marks are awarded for performing and linking routines neatly rather than the difficulty of the agilities or vaults

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get rid of those old, smelly and tatty gymnastics mats in your school hall? How about a new set of ribbons and balls for the kids to try their hand at Rhythmic Gymnastics? Don’t wait for the Local Authority to give you the money; we’ve compiled a list of available funding pots available for you to access and key tips to help you apply.

Writing a successful funding application is like a good recipe – it depends on a few excellent ingredients coming together well. Finding the right funder; filling out the application properly; and providing all the necessary information required are the three key ingredients to a successful bid.


Helpful tips for completing a successful funding application

Plan your project

  • Consider the priorities of your school, after school club, and discuss with staff that projects could help expand or develop the current gymnastics activity and what else the equipment could be used for.
  • Think about what evidence there is to support a need for the new or expanded activity.
  • Carefully plan exactly what your school needs collectively for this development, what costs need to be funded.
  • Take a photocopy of the form and complete a draft copy first, an application form containing mistakes and crossings out is difficult to follow and may give a poor impression
  • Provide relevant supporting material as requested (e.g. annual reports, annual accounts, publicity material, constitution, plans, estimates)
  • Keep a copy of the completed application for your own records
  • Ask for advice before you apply to make sure your application is appropriate
  • Make sure all sections of the form are completed clearly and in full
  • Provide a clear and concise outline of the project
  • Provide the name of a contact person who is knowledgeable about the project and application, and can be contacted during normal office hours  
  • Submit the application in good time to allow for queries to be resolved and papers to be prepared for the relevant decision-making meeting/process

Work in Partnership

  • Working with other schools, groups, clubs and other organizations can be beneficial for sharing ideas and pooling resourses to meet a common aim. It also strengthens the funding bid as it demonstrates that money awarded will be used effectively o have maximum impact.
  • Develop strong links with your local partnership, as its their role to you help develop strong links between schools and sport clubs. Each partnership has a Development Manager who can work with clubs to form links with schools and have access to funding to pay for a variety of sessions including lunchtime and after school coaching sessions.

It’s Good To Talk…

  • Get in touch with the Gymnastics Development Officers and Sport Partnerships who can help you develop your idea and find the right source of funding for your club. Funding providers want to give out grants but they need to be satisfied that what they are funding meets their criteria e.g. increasing participation. It might even be worth getting in touch with the funding provider to discuss your project with them before you start with the application form.  Many Funding providers will require evidence of a constitution, bank account, child protection policy and a equality policy in order to apply for funding.

If At First You Don’t Succeed…

  • Applying for funding can be a disheartening process, intensely competitive and hard to accept, especially after all the hard work you put into it.  If you are unsuccessful, do not hesitate to contact the funder to ask for feedback. This will set your mind at rest and help you with your next application. You could learn valuable lessons about your technique.
  • Sometimes, however, it is simply a case of too little money, too many applications!

For more information about Funding Opportunities availiable click here


There are a wide variety of competitive opportunities available for school-aged children of all abilities:

1. Key Step
2. Next Steps
3. GymChallenge
4. British Schools Gymnastics Association (BSGA)

1. Key Step - for Primary Schools
There are three gymnastics disciplines in Key Step with three levels of ability in each. These are:

  1. Floor: Routines include balancing, jumping, rolling and flexibility skills.
  2. Vault: Skills are performed travelling on and off a bench/raised platform.
  3. Body Management: Routines include strength, flexibility, balancing and coordination skills.

To prepare your pupils for a Key Step competition and/or to host an event, all you need is basic equipment such as floor mats, a springboard, a bench and a box top/trestle table. 

Register as a British Gymnastics Partner School and you’ll have access to our resources which include coaching points, judging guidance and a competition pack.

2. Next Steps - for Secondary Schools
There are three gymnastics disciplines in Next Steps with three levels of ability in each. These are: 

  1. Trampoline: Gymnasts perform a body management routine on the floor, set skills on the trampoline and a set routine on the trampoline.
  2. Acro: Gymnasts work in pairs or groups to perform synchronised floor routines focussing on strength, flexibility, power and grace. Routines consist of pair/group balances, dance and tumbles.
  3. Rhythmic: Each ability level offers a choice of apparatus and 'set' or 'optional' sequences:
    Step 1 - Hoop or Ball set sequence
    Step 2 - Ribbon set sequence or Hoop or Ball optional sequence
    Step 3 - Rope set sequence or Ribbon optional sequence.

3. GymChallenge - for Secondary Schools
An alternative way to keep pupils active, GymChallenge introduces gymnastics skills with a twist. Participants are not marked on technical excellence, GymChallenge is focused on fun and fitness and participants are not marked on technical excellence. All abilities can experience the thrill of a team competition without the pressure and with no requirements for specialist equipment. By joining the British Gymnastics Partner School Programme you will have access to our GymChallenge resource pack which includes the challenge cards, scoresheets, and certificates as well as a delivery guide.

The British Schools Gymnastics Association (BSGA) promotes participation in, and the development of gymnastics in UK schools. It embraces all gymnastics disciplines and is fully inclusive of able bodied children and those with disabilities.

The BSGA offers alternative competition pathways for novice and intermediate gymnasts whilst also encouraging elite performers to excel in their disciplines at the same events.

Head to their website to find out more.

School Games Pathway
Level 1 intra-school: An in-house competition just for your school.

  • Primary School - Challenge Cards: floor work, vault and apparatus sessions.
  • Primary School - Competition Cards: floor work, vault and rhythmic competition formats.
  • Secondary School resource: Acrobatic, Rhythmic Hoop, Rhythmic Ribbon and Synchronised Trampoline competition formats.

Level 2 inter-school: A team of pupils represent your school at an inter-school event.

  • Primary School - Key Step: Teams of six represent the school at step 1, 2 and 3 in floor, vault and body management. Top teams advance to the level 3 competition.
    The more experienced gymnasts can compete in an individual strand of the Key Step competition.
  • Secondary School - GymChallenge: Teams of 10 represent the school. Top teams advance to the level 3 competition.

Level 3 - county level: Qualifying teams from level 2 are invited to compete at county level in Key Step and GymChallenge. They both follow the level 2 competition formats.