Energy levels have been off the scale in the Junior School. Reception and Year 1 pupils have been developing their responses to instructions and learning about key terminology relating to their bodies and movement. Year 2 have been exploring various chasing games which form the foundations of invasion games, as well as thinking about their bodies in Gymnastics lessons. Years 3-6 have been working on their communication and teamwork skills through small games, football and netball. The Junior School Sports staff have also been working with the children to develop a growth mindset to allow them to find personal achievement not only in sport but also in their day-to-day-life. There has also been a lot of fun with inter-year tournaments and of course the trip to the North Pole Christmas Gym!
In the first half of term, over a quarter of Senior School pupils, an average of 250, regularly took part in Saturday training sessions, even without the usual draw of competition against other schools.
Each year group has participated in three training sessions each week and we have been naming weekly ‘Dream Teams’ in Hockey, Netball and Rugby to the reflect commitment, passion and team spirit of those participating. Pupils that are named in the Dream Teams have been awarded a star to add to their games tops.
The announcement of a second lockdown before our return to school after the half term break meant that both co-curricular sport midweek and at weekends had to be reviewed. Midweek sport was retained but the Saturday programme had to be redesigned to include two online classes for pupils as well as the ability to join the Strava App. The online classes that ran included a Hero Workout and Dance class, both aimed at retaining pupil’s involvement in Saturday activity as well as supporting their physical and mental wellbeing.
The midweek co-curricular provision proved very popular with an average of 600 pupils taking part in some form of co-curricular sporting activity at some point in the week during lockdown. We have also seen the introduction of a number of extra lunchtime and after school sessions to further increase our provision, with Dance for Years 7 & 8 and Badminton for Year 9.
The school have also had the opportunity to have sole use of the Tennis Dome on Burnaby Road. This has allowed teaching of Tennis and Cricket to our Years 7, 8 and 9 pupils across the second half of term and has meant that the PE curriculum could be developed to aid pupils gaps in learning the ‘summer’ sports during the first lockdown of 2020. Having access to the Tennis Dome has also meant that the Sports Department have been able to develop the Games programme to make use of the space and to maximise the opportunity over the coming months.
When lockdown ended at the beginning of December, we were able to have a final Autumn term run-out at Hilsea with House Fixtures in Hockey for the girls and Rugby for the boys across the majority of age groups. Year 10 and 11 Hockey also had a mixed element to allow as many pupils as possible to take part.
We know that the lack of competitive school fixtures is a disappointment to many, and it is our intention to return to our planned competitive fixture programme as soon as the guidance allows it. We have focused on internal games, continuing to promote fitness and sport, and preparing our pupils for future fixtures.