Alongside all other primary schools in the country, Willow Bank Junior School has received additional funding since 2013-14 to support the development of sport within school. In the last financial year (2018-19), this figure was £18,356, which we believe we have used effectively to ensure the continued presence of an experienced, specialist sports teacher on the teaching staff. Sport has always had a high profile at Willow Bank Junior School, and this money was vital in order to maintain and develop sport within the school at a time of budget restraints, allowing us to keep a sports specialist teacher working with children across the whole school rather than being wholly classroom-based. The funding also allows us to release this teacher to take children to a wide range of sporting events and pays for secretarial time to facilitate this. We ensure that the funding is also used to purchase and maintain the high quality of PE and playground equipment.
Strengths of sport provision within school include:
Every child receives skilled sports coaching across a range of disciplines from football to hockey, from tennis to athletics. There is also specialist teaching in less common disciplines, such as the high jump.
Training is provided for other staff members in how to teach specific skills.
The school remains up-to-date with new research and changes in practice and legislation within a range of sports.
A focus on correct techniques in order to reduce the risk of injury, and to develop children’s awareness of their own physical capacity.
The specialist teacher organises a wide range of sports clubs at lunchtime which are free to access – currently these include four football clubs covering all ages and both boys and girls, and netball clubs for all age groups (as well as a range of non-sports based activities).
A wide range of extra-curricular clubs arranged with outside providers, offering the opportunity for extra specialist teaching. These are chargeable, and currently include: judo; tennis; dance; gym; and parkour. Other sports and activities are offered at other times of the year. (The school makes no profit from these, and does not charge a hire fee, in order to keep costs to a minimum for parents in order to increase participation levels.)
Children partake in a wide range of sporting events and competitive fixtures against other schools. These include: District Sports; District Athletics; Wokingham Schools Partnership events; carnival netball; carnival football; swimming gala; cricket tournament; football matches.
A focus on children developing a strong sporting attitude towards activities and towards their competitors and teammates.
The sports teacher has also been extremely active in establishing a round of competitive tournaments with local schools across all age ranges and both genders.
Dance is also a very strong feature of the school, with another member of staff being a trained dance and gym specialist.