A word from Karin Staines, Head of Sport
“The sport in our school is as much about the teaching experience for every child as it is about time playing matches. All of our teams benefit from a parity in coaching methods and these are focussed on developing sporting activities and exercise as an abiding, lifelong habit.”
We are a small school putting our heart and soul into every game we play whether in practice, in house or in competition. And although we win our fair share of the laurels, I honestly believe that for our children the thrill lies in the team spirit, the exhilaration of leadership and the uplifting camaraderie that is never more prevalent than on the games field. The fact that we can also put out a B or sometimes even a C team that wins in matches with much larger schools says a lot about how we do things here too.
All the children understand that they have to work hard for their team positions and, more importantly, they are motivated by the idea that opportunities will be given. There is no sense that once a position is taken that it will not open up again – team dynamics shift all the time, which keeps things exciting and uplifting for our pupils. They respond robustly to this, but with a great generosity of spirit that acknowledges each other’s strengths. Matches are played every week in the main seasonal games of boys and girls hockey, netball, rugby and boys and girls cricket. We also enjoy cross country fixtures, swimming, athletics, archery and volleyball. Our approach is always to work collaboratively with our neighbouring schools, ensuring that we not only field our best teams, but that they are balanced in terms of talent. Playing against schools that share this same philosophy results in fixtures that are as meaningful as they are competitive.
I find that parents are often of the same mind when I share the idea that sport can be very exposing for children, being as it is a heightened, physical and very visual manifestation of their ability levels. But it is also the very place for compassion, celebration of achievement and mutual support, all of which feeds into every aspect of school life in the most inspirational way. Children are encouraged to reach outside of themselves in our lessons and to use their skills for the good of the community. There are so many beautiful moments – when a child at the head of a House race laps back to spur on the one struggling at the back, or when players host a visiting team at match teas, bringing them food and drink – and these enhance wellbeing and self-belief in the most lasting and significant ways.
Karin Staines, Head of Sport