From our Director of Sport
This year has been a year of building and development in the Sports Department at St Mary’s.
We have enjoyed welcoming new members of staff to the department, including our hockey and cricket coaches, who have been working with students from Year 3 to 13, providing high-level coaching and training sessions in these sports. Staffing will also increase in September as we welcome a new physical education teacher and netball coach - providing an opportunity to increase in the variety of clubs on offer during the school day.
At St Mary’s, we are striving to support all students to reach their full potential in all sports. With the use of our Long Road sports grounds, we have been offering lunchtime and afterschool training sessions in hockey, netball, cricket, tennis and athletics.
We have also increased the number of fixtures this year, with over 150 fixtures played across the school, which we are looking forward to building on in the next academic year.
We will be expanding our academic provision in 2022 with two cohorts for A Level PE and two cohorts for short course GCSE PE. It is also great to be offering sports trips again too, the first of these being a trip to Lord’s Cricket ground. Other exciting opportunities for next year include a GSA Senior Netball trip and a trip to the International Netball Festival at Disneyland Paris.
Students in Years 9 to 13 continue to have options in their curriculum games lessons. For Years 7 to 9, we are making a change next year to focus more on teaching fundamental skills. Activities such as gymnastics, exploration of dance, healthy active lifestyles, net and wall games, leadership, equality and diversity will all be included in the new curriculum to allow students to explore a range of physical education.
We are excited to have our whole school sports day back this year. In line with ‘National School Sports Week’ and with the aim that “there is a place for every young person to belong in school sport, and have a role on sports day”, the format will be slightly different from previous years. All students will participate in a range of activities including cricket, netball, athletics and tug of war - and it will be the first time we use Long Road for a whole school event.
We continue to have a number of students representing the county, region or nation in their main sport. These students and those who have taken part in school sports were celebrated at our Sports Awards. We enjoyed an evening celebrating the achievements of all of the students with parents and other members of staff from the school.
Our guest speaker, Mr Sean Rose, gave an inspirational presentation about continuing to participate in sport in the face of adversity, linking well with the ethos of sport at St Mary's. We encourage participation for all and encompass High Performance Learning characteristics such as realising and linking to help our students reach their full potential. Other HPL characteristics, such as being agile were linked to award presentations where Mr Rose spoke about taking risks and working hard to achieve personal goals.
We look forward to continuing to develop sport at St Mary’s.
Louise Powell, Director of Sport
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