Last Updated: Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Improving throwing skills – second level

What is this?

This learning activity involves children practising throwing an object towards a target and trying to improve their skills by reflecting on their performance. It is intended to support teachers and practitioners to plan learning experiences for children in their usual setting or while they are learning at home.

As well as taking account of national and local guidance relating to Covid-19, the activity should be used or adapted accordingly to consider the range of learners and their prior knowledge and individual circumstances in relation to this learning experience.

Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) Experiences and Outcomes:  second level

By reflecting on my own and others’ work and evaluating it against shared criteria, I can recognise improvement and achievement and use this to progress further. HWB 2-24a

Purpose of the activity

Children will assess their own performance in a physical activity which involves throwing something towards a target. They will discuss the importance of effort and perseverance in achieving success.

Learning activity

Introduce the activity by encouraging children to think of sporting activities which involve throwing a ball or other object. For example:

  • throwing a netball for someone else to catch easily, or into a goal
  • throwing a basketball to a team-mate, into a goal or to rebound off the backboard
  • throwing a rugby ball for someone to catch
  • throwing a rounders ball for someone to hit or catch
  • throwing a cricket ball towards the wicket or another player
  • throwing a javelin.

You could invite children to look at some of these activities. For example netball shooting, free throwing in basketball or throwing in rounders. Remember to skip adverts first.

Now invite children to choose an activity which involves them throwing a ball or object towards a target. The object and target could be a sporting activity or children could use household objects if they are learning at home. For example:

  • throwing an orange onto a chair or into a bucket
  • throwing a teddy onto a towel on the floor or a bed
  • throwing a rolled-up pair of socks into a washing basket or bag.

Invite children to practise their chosen activity by repeating it ten times. You could ask them to keep tally marks to count how many times they are successful, and record their total score in a chart like this.

Date and time

Tally marks

Total score out of 10








Ask children to reflect on their performance and to think about how they could improve their score the next time. For example:

  • are they taking a good aim towards the target?
  • do they keep their eyes on the target?
  • is their body balanced as they throw?
  • do they need to throw harder or softer, depending on how close or far away their target is?
  • did they follow through with their hand(s) towards the target?
  • do they need to concentrate more?

After children have repeated this practice several times, invite them to reflect on how they can improve their performance, based on the criteria above, or anything else they feel would help.

Next discuss with children the importance of perseverance and effort when trying to improve performance or achieve success. What kinds of emotions did they feel when they were attempting the task? For example, did they feel frustrated if they could only manage a low score? Were they delighted when they saw improvements? How did these feelings affect their performance? 

Extension activity

Invite children to make the activity more challenging by increasing the distance between themselves and the target, or by making the target smaller in size. You could also invite them to repeat the activity more often than ten times.

You could invite children to make up their own criteria, or give feedback to others about their performance to help them improve.

If children are able to convert their score out of ten into a percentage, then encourage them to complete this calculation.

National Benchmarks

  • Self-assesses and acts as a peer assessor to provide constructive feedback to improve performance.
  • Demonstrates understanding of the positive link between effort, perseverance, and personal achievement.
  • Recognises the variety of emotions that are associated with performing and the impact they have on behaviour and performance.

Possible approach to assessing learning

As practitioners, you know your children well and can alter the expectations of outcomes for individuals in line with the Benchmarks. You can look at ways to review or discuss children’s work and provide feedback occasionally to help move learning forward.  

Some children may want to present their work to the class, others may prefer to share this only with yourself. They may wish to add/upload photos or a record of their work to their learning journal, possibly online. This will give you the opportunity to provide feedback and next steps.

In this activity you may want to discuss with children their rates of success, and what they need to do to improve their score. You may also discuss with them how perseverance and effort can improve performance in a variety of activities, not just sporting ones.

When planning your approach to assessing learning, please take account of the latest guidance on assessment approaches.

Resource subject Health and wellbeing
Resource type Learning activity
Resource format Webpage