From Reception onwards, sport forms an important part of the School’s curriculum and extra-curricular activities programme. Pupils play the traditional sports associated with independent schools but also have the opportunity to participate in a variety of other sports.
Overall it is the School’s belief that sport is for all and that it is an important and enjoyable part of its curriculum. For those who wish to play the major team games, there are many opportunities, not only to represent their school but also their houses. For those who are interested in the minority sports, there are also many opportunities.
In Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 children receive three hours per week of sports within the curriculum: an hour of Swimming, an hour of P.E. and an hour of Team Games. The sports are the same for both boys and girls who are taught co-educationally for this subject up to the age of 7.
From Year 3 onwards, children receive an hour a week of either PE or Swimming and two Games lessons (Year 3 receive two hours of team Games and Years 4 – 6 receive three hours of team Games). Boys and girls are taught Games separately. Boys learn Rugby in the Michaelmas Term, Football during Lent and Cricket in the summer. Girls principally learn Netball in the Michaelmas and Lent terms, with some experience of hockey; in the summer the principal girls’ sport is Rounders.
Inter-school and house matches are played from Year 3 onwards (with a few matches being played at the end of Year 2). An extensive programme of matches is organised each term so that the School selects not only A teams but also B teams. The intention is that there are plenty of opportunities for children to represent school and houses. Selection for the various teams is upon merit and the decision of who plays lies with the member of staff who selects the team. The School’s policy is to select its best players and expects these pupils to give of their very best in matches. Competitiveness is seen as a positive thing if accompanied by self-discipline and respect for others.
Other benefits to children from the teaching of sport are: learning to work as a member of a team, leadership, confidence, responsibility, determination and courage. As well, of course, as physical fitness!
Children in Years 3 and 4 usually play inter-school matches on Tuesday afternoons and those in Years 5 and 6 either play on Wednesday afternoons or Saturday mornings.
For those children who particularly enjoy sports, there are many clubs. Currently the school organises: short tennis, karate, judo, badminton, basketball, girls’ football, orienteering and cross-country, as well as squad training for the major sports. On Saturday mornings voluntary sports are available for children in Reception to Year 3 at Swallows and squad coaching is run for children in Years 4 to 6 at Hales.