Primary School Sports Funding 2021-2022
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 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 ACES coaches. We have trained hard for these tournaments (including football, dodgeball, netball, 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 during Covid-19. Our children represented the school with one hundred percent effort and pride in all tournaments. Our sportsmanship and teamwork at these events were exemplary. We have excelled in cross-country and hockey face to face competitions prior Covid-19, taking part and winning in the Wakefield finals before going on to compete in the West Yorkshire games, whilst we also competed to a good standard during the virtual school competitions last year. Tournaments are scheduled to restart Autumn term 2021 and we will be keenly taking part in these competitions over the coming year. Over the last two years we have held two very successful socially distanced sports days and intend on integrating aspects of this into our original sports day format.
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. These clubs adhered to government and school rules around Covid-19 last year and will do so again if required this coming academic year. The dance club will be run by Northern Light Dance and has proved successful in the last three years, whilst experienced coaches lead the very popular football club from Frickley Athletic FC, which is now entering our 4th year of a successful partnership. These clubs have helped us to achieve better results at Outwood competitions.
Some sporting initiatives we have done in previous years proved unable to complete over the last 18 months due to the challenge of Covid-19, it is hoped that this year we can restart these activities. Despite not being able to do some of the planned initiatives, ‘a kilometre a day’ has still been a big 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 walked/skipped/jumped (and even rolled!) 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.
A large proportion of our sports funding last year 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. We intend to look at inviting some ‘inspiring skippers’ in to school to further encourage the children in their skipping. So far the skipping ropes have proved to be a massive success over the last six months with children (and some staff!) regularly partaking in the daily skip and children also taking their skipping ropes out at break/lunchtimes, supporting both physical and mental health.
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 ACES) to aid children in achieving their full potential in PE (more on this below) and provided regular PE support for parents during lockdown through our school website and class pages. 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 to provide our children with the best possible start in their physical development.
Last year our school maintained ‘Gold’ 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 three 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 ACES, as we will be having them in school for a whole day again next year, whilst they will also be running a club after school. Staff will take turns working with experienced ACES staff to support and develop their own PE skills where needed. Rook’s Nest staff will be teaching new sports during these sessions such as Lacrosse, curling and Tchoukball among others. The advice and support provided by ACES staff when required will prove invaluable when adding these new sports to our PE curriculum and enable staff to teach these new sports to an exceptional standard over the coming years. ACES staff will mainly be working with targeted children this year to improve their PE and self-health awareness post Covid-19. These interventions proved very successful last year for a number of our children. The rest of our budget this year will be spent on a number of things, such as: Reintroducing ‘WOW days (to inspire our children to participate in new sports), yoga, lunchtime sports clubs and sports themed books.
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 have the opportunity to maintain/regain a healthy lifestyle post Covid-19.