Our 'sport for all' policy shapes how we approach sport. Encouraging every girl to lead a healthy lifestyle is an integral part of our commitment to supporting pupil happiness and well-being. Physical Education (PE) lessons and extra-curricular sports are a popular and important part of life in Junior School.
Sport for all
- Reception girls participate in gym activities once a week, complemented with daily movement activity sessions of up to 20 minutes.
- Year 1 and Year 2 girls take gym and dance classes once a week, taught by a specialist PE teacher, plus movement activities and sport with their class teacher.
- In Years 3 to 6 girls have two and a half hours of sport each week, including athletics, dance, gymnastics, hockey, netball, rounders and swimming, as well as the opportunity to take part in extra-curricular sports clubs.
Sport and girls
Reframing Sport a 2019 research report from UK charity, Women in Sport highlights the critical relationship between sport and self-worth, confidence and body image in young girls. The positive impact of our ‘Sport for All’ policy is evident in some of the findings of a recent student survey conducted in our Senior School to further understand how St Mary's girls experience sport:
- 88% of St Mary’s girls enjoy PE versus 49% in Reframing Sport
- 97% of St Mary’s girls believe exercise is an important versus 56% in Reframing Sport
Despite these positive findings, we are very mindful that we must continue to evolve our approach, to ensure girls continue to enjoy physical activities throughout their time at St Mary's and beyond. The key principles of Reframing Sport are now integrated with our overall approach to sport:
8 Principles of Success
- No judgement – we take the pressure off performance, with plenty of opportunities to play and enjoy activities such as boxercise, dance, gymnastics and Zumba.
- Invoking excitement – by offering a diverse choice of sports and activities, there is a sense of adventure at every stage - there is always more to discover!
- Clear emotional reward – sporting achievements are 'moments of pride' not just winning. Of course, everyone enjoys the feeling of winning a hockey match or a relay race, but there are also moments of pride to be found when we don't win. Achieving a personal best; a successful pass between players; seamless teamwork and support; the buzz of helping secure a goal. These are all moments to be proud of.
- Opening eyes to what’s there – here sport is much more than just PE lessons. We open up multiple team sports and solo pursuits that girls can enjoy throughout life. Our popular Zumba, netball and running clubs are great examples of enjoying sport beyond the curriculum.
- Building existing habits – through less 'traditional' sports such as yoga and dance, we build sport into existing habits.
- Giving girls a voice and choice – we believe that #YesSheCan at St Mary’s and this empowering approach ensures every girl can live her best life by taking part in a sport they enjoy.
- Championing what’s in it – sport is about more than just health. It’s about developing invaluable life skills, such as motivation, leadership and teamwork skills, and building relationships and making great friends in the process!
- Expanding the image of ‘sporty’ – we are lucky to have so many great role models in our teaching community who inspire girls to take part in sport and to aim high.
This approach builds on our established Sport for All policy and aims to reframe sport as something that ALL girls’ value and perceive to enhance their lives.
More about Reframing Sport
New sports developments
Long Road Redevelopment project
We are currently undertaking an ambitious redevelopment in partnership with Homerton College, part of the University of Cambridge. This will include two AstroTurf pitches, netball and tennis courts, athletics track and field facilities and a pavilion with physio room, kitchen and changing rooms.
More about Long Road
Please note: St Mary’s School, Cambridge intends to collaborate with Homerton College to develop our Long Road Playing Fields. The pitches will be completely overhauled and a new pavilion built. The work and the long term management will be undertaken through a new playing fields limited liability partnership, with St Mary’s and Homerton being the two members of that LLP, and St Mary’s will grant a lease for 66 years to the LLP. Anyone wanting to make a formal response to this proposal should do so by 8 July 2019 to Mark Johnstone, Bursar, on firstname.lastname@example.org.
St Mary's Boathouse on the River Cam
Working with the City of Cambridge Rowing Club, a new Boathouse is also under construction, offering our girls the experience of rowing from beginner up to Olympic level.
Rowing at St Mary's Senior School