All children’s sports skills and confidence develop. In the 2016 parent survey, one parent commented: “The encouragement my child receives to ‘have a go’ is a real strength of the school. Sport participation and enjoyment has exceeded my expectations and is also a great strength of the school.”
Over 50% of children regularly partake in extra-curricular sporting activities within the school day, in addition to their normal weekly PE curriculum allocation. In addition, over 80 children (one third of the pupil population) attend extra-curricular activities provided by outside providers, as part of a timetable of offered activities arranged by the specialist sports teacher.
Over 75% of children have represented their school across a range of events, including over 100 at a single athletics meet alone.
Parents are very engaged in these activities, in terms of encouraging, transporting and supporting their children.
The children become ambassadors for the school, and are regularly praised for their good attitude at events, and their ability both to win and to lose with good grace. This has allowed us to expose the children to competitive sport without damaging their sporting attitudes.
Sports Days are hugely successful and well-supported by parents, with children active throughout the entirety of the two-hour event. Parents comment on how well the children support one another, including supporting and motivating the less-confident and those whose skill levels are not as high. During our sports day in July 2014, a visiting sports specialist from a secondary school commented on how well the children’s skills had been taught and developed, and that they compared favourably with standards and skills at secondary level.
The confidence of other staff members has increased, as they have access to in-house training, and a point of contact within the school if they are ever unsure. Importantly, they also have the opportunity to work with children who themselves have a highly developed understanding of the principles and practices of sport, and of its value not just in itself, but in a wider context of self-discipline, self-confidence and self-esteem.
Attendance in the school is extremely high (just short of 97% for the academic year 2015/16), which indicates, in part, a school population which is healthy and motivated. Attendance rates among staff are also very high (only 7 teacher days in total lost to sickness since October 2015), suggesting that the children see good modelling of the value of being fit and healthy and in school.