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 (2021-22), this figure was £18,414, which we believe we have used effectively to ensure the continued CPD and training of staff and to deliver a wider range of high quality opportunties for pupils. Sport has always had a high profile at Willow Bank Junior School. The funding also allows us to release staff 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:
- All children’s sports skills and confidence develop. As 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 it is a great strength of the school.”
- 65% 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 75 children attend extra-curricular activities provided by outside providers, as part of a timetable of offered activities arranged by the specialist sports teacher.
- School teams regularly achieve well. For example, over the past couple of years we have won cricket, football, netball and gymnastics competitions.
- 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.
- The confidence of other staff members has increased, as they have access to additional 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.