Primary School Sports Funding 2023-24
The Academy has embraced the Government’s additional PE and Sports funding over the last few years. It has given us the opportunity to provide our children with the chance to experience a wide range of new sports (even Quidditch!), as well as enhancing their understanding of more familiar sports. Some of the clubs offered include football, hockey, netball, dodgeball, dance, quidditch and rounders.
Our link with ACES and other schools in the Outwood cluster has meant an increased range of well-organised inter-school tournaments as well as establishing an excellent level of training in sports provided by Elite kids coaching. We have trained hard for these tournaments (including football, netball, tag rugby, cricket, rounders and cross-country) by providing our children with a range of after school clubs. This link with other schools, supported by ACES, helped us to keep our children active and participating in competitions following Covid-19 and the after-effects of the pandemic.
Our children always represent the school with one hundred percent effort and pride in all tournaments. Our sportsmanship and teamwork at the events last year were exemplary. We have excelled in cross-country, athletics and hockey face to face competitions recently, taking part and winning in the Wakefield finals before going on to compete in the West Yorkshire games. During the pandemic we kept Sports a high priority by competing in virtual school competitions to a high standard. In addition to this, we held two very successful socially distanced sports days and integrated some of the successes of these days into our original sports day format which we went back to last summer. Face to face tournaments restarted in Autumn term 2021 and we participated in these wherever possible. We will be keenly taking part in these competitions once again over the coming year.
We have built upon the existing good practice in PE at Rooks Nest Academy and helped to develop both the staff’s teaching of sport skills and the children’s experience of different sports/activities. Along with staff-led clubs, we have developed links with local sports companies and clubs over the last few years, providing specialist gymnastics, dance, rugby and football clubs taking place after school and intend to do so again next year. The dance club will be run by Northern Light Dance and has proved successful in the last four years. Experienced coaches lead the very popular football club from Frickley Athletic FC, which is now entering our 5th year of a successful partnership. These clubs have helped us to achieve better results at Outwood competitions. Elite Kids Coaching will be running clubs on both Thursday lunchtimes and after school, providing more opportunities for our children to be active.
We run a number of initiatives at Rooks Nest Academy designed to improve children’s active levels and encourage them to participate in sport. A ‘kilometre a day’ a big is an integral part of the curriculum with all year groups doing their best to complete one km per day (20 lengths of the field/hall). Our children walk/skip/jump (and even roll!) their way to complete the kilometre – all with a smile on their face! We also participated in the daily mile competition (which we won in 2019) at the end of last year, where members of the Wakefield Health Improvement measured how far our year two and four children could travel. ‘K a day’ will continue to be part of our curriculum this coming year. Our year 5 pupils also took part in the Wakefield Schools Health Survey last year which provided us with information on how to best improve our children’s physical education in the coming year.
A large proportion of our sports funding two years ago was put towards buying every child and adult at school a skipping rope. This skipping rope will stay with the child throughout their school life and be used during ‘daily skip’ (similar to daily mile). This was designed as a way of keeping up Covid-19 guidelines as well as encouraging children to become more active post lockdowns and has proved very successful. Last year we held two skipping days ‘Wow days’ where ‘Dan the Skipping Man Ltd’ came into the Academy and worked with all the children, teaching them new skipping tricks and skills. This re-energised the skipping initiative and re-enthused the children’s attitudes towards the daily skip. The children (and some staff!) regularly partake in the daily skip and children also take their skipping ropes out at break/lunchtimes, supporting both physical and mental health. We will be putting some money this year towards replacing some broken/lost skipping ropes.
As well as the skipping ‘Wow Day’ we also paid for ‘Cavebus’ to come back into school (they last visited the Academy about 5 years ago) for two days so that all of the children could experience caving. Caving is an activity that the majority of the children love doing but do not get the opportunity to try, however a number of children also have fears over doing caving (we have seen this on the yearly residential trip to Robinwood) so we took the opportunity to invite them back to give children the chance to conquer their fear before the year six residential and experience a new activity.
As well as using the ‘daily skip’ to encourage children to increase their activity levels during/post Covid-19, we supported our children’s health and well-being through a number of other methods. We provided PE interventions (through Elitesports coaching) to aid children in achieving their full potential in PE (more on this below), especially targeting those who fell behind in PE due to Covid-19. A number of teachers continued supporting active learning through brain breaks during lessons, which has been proven to result in a higher level of engagement from children. We also purchased bikes for afterschool club to support children staying in school longer with their balance and fitness, as well as investing in ‘Balanceability’ for our foundation stage children and year two to provide our children with the best possible start in their physical development.
Last year our school maintained ‘Gold’ again (for the forth year) on the well-recognised ‘School Games Mark’ award. This award is not easy to achieve and demonstrates just how far Rooks Nest Academy’s PE curriculum and the teaching of PE has come over the last few years. It is a massive credit to all our staff and children, who have made achieving this award possible.
This year, our Primary Sports Funding will be spent on two main areas. A proportion of the budget will again be spent on outdoor learning next year, as we look to continue developing the cross-curricular nature of our school with active lessons outdoors based on topics that year groups are learning. We will also continue building our own staff knowledge of outdoor learning with support from Elite Sports Forest School teachers. Secondly, a large section of the budget will be spent on Elite Kids coaching, as we will be having them in school Thursday afternoons from 12 until 4 to run a lunchtime club, four intervention sessions (Foundation stage, KS1, LKS2 and UKS2) and an after-school club. New and unfamiliar sports will be provided during these clubs (along with more common sports) such as quidditch, lacrosse, curling and tchoukball among others. The advice and support provided by Elite kids coaching staff (Liz) when required will prove invaluable when adding these new sports to our PE curriculum. Liz and I will also be able support staff when teaching these new/unfamiliar sports to an exceptional standard over the coming years. Liz will mainly be working with targeted children this year to improve their PE and self-health awareness, these children will be highlighted on each class teachers PE assessment grid. The interventions proved very successful last year for a number of our children. The rest of our budget this year will be spent on contributing to the cost of ACES to run the Outwood Together competitions, paying for travel to competitions and supporting the progression of the Academy to an age 2 to 11 curriculum, through teaching and equipment where applicable.
This year the Academy will strive to continue to build on the successes of the past few years, whilst incorporating new activities and sports. We hope the recent progress made in Outwood competitions over the last few years continues to improve, whether competitions are held face to face or socially distanced, through the dedication and experience of coaches and teachers throughout the day.
Furthermore, this year we aim to continue to educate the children in the importance of outdoor education and develop self-awareness, confidence and self-esteem through working together actively outdoors. We also help to build collaborative-working and communication skills and develop a lifelong love of the outdoors through outdoor education. At Rooks Nest Academy we are determined to ensure that children continue to have the best possible physical education and can maintain/regain a healthy lifestyle.