We take sport seriously at Dame B’s – it teaches teamwork, grace in winning and losing, plus the reward of achieving what you’ve set out to do.
Running, jumping, twisting, climbing and learning to throw and catch are not only great fun – they help to keep young children’s bodies healthy and strong, preparing the way for competitive sports.
We call our PE lessons big gym, little gym and music and movement:
- Big gym use larger gym equipment and involves a circuit of activities. Swinging on ropes, climbing to the top of the climbing frame and learning to jump are all great ways of boosting confidence and improving co-ordination.
- Little gym uses smaller apparatus but is just as challenging.
Our youngest pupils always have energy to burn, so we also have daily outdoor activities, ranging from ball games and hoops, to bike and scooter riding.
Years 1 and 2
Pupils build on the fundamental movement skills acquired in the Early Years and continue to develop their confidence using apparatus in big gym lessons. They use a variety of sporting equipment as they begin to participate in small sided modified games.
Our approach is about learning to co-operate and work together, as well as developing a healthy sense of competition. It establishes a healthy way of life and lays the foundations of our sports teams of the future.
From Years 3 to 6, our pupils enjoy a wide range of sports and opportunities to compete.
Autumn means rugby and hockey as our main sports in games lessons for pupils in prep whilst a variety of other activities including football, indoor athletics, health and fitness and badminton are taught through the PE curriculum.
Competitive matches really begin in Year 4 with Year 3 gaining some exposure to competitive sport through house matches and events organised in house and by the local sports partnership.
A variety of sports clubs offer our pupils the opportunity to pursue their love for sport outside of curriculum time.
Spring and Summer
Spring and Summer terms bring football, netball, cricket and athletics to our pupils where they have the opportunity to refine skills and compete against local schools and compete in National IAPS competitions.
Summer also sees tennis, the Foundation schools are members of the British Schools Tennis Association.
Swimming is a key life skill, taught at the Lord Butler Leisure Centre in Saffron Walden in Years 2 to 5.
Developing confidence in the water is our primary aim, with a clear focus on stroke development, improving stamina and learning basic survival techniques.
Introduction to swimming - Year 2
Children are assessed by the swimming teachers and grouped by ability. Children who require more support will use swimming aids to help develop confidence. Teachers then work with the children on swimming skills, including correct stroke techniques, survival skills and distance swimming to enable steady progress through a range of skills. Children are taught correctly formed strokes (for example, correct breathing, leg kick and arm movements).
Please note that the Leisure Centre rules dictate that all children (girls and boys) must wear swimming hats. Boys are to wear close-fitting trunks.
If your child is not well enough to swim please telephone or send a letter with your child. They will then be supervised at the pool. Please ensure they bring a reading book with them.
Our sports facilities help us to offer a great range of options, plus we find the best local clubs and societies for children who want to pursue sport out of school – with the bonus that weekend sessions allow working parents to share in the excitement.
Our sports teams compete in regular fixtures against other schools in the local area in a variety of sports including football, cricket, netball, tennis, hockey, rugby and athletics.
We are part of the Saffron Walden Schools Family Sports Partnership and compete in numerous sporting events throughout the year. We also host some of these events, including the annual Indoor Athletics and Tennis competitions. We also attend the Rugby 7’s at Old Buckenham Hall and Felsted School, and the East Area Prep Schools Athletics competition held at Wilberforce Road, Cambridge each year.
Sports results and match reports are published online and in our regular newsletters. We have experienced great success in partnership events and have gone on to represent Uttlesford district on many occasions in various sports.
One of the highlights of the school calendar is Sports Day. This takes place in the second half of the Summer term for all children from Kindergarten through to Year 6.
It is a true family affair where all children compete individually and in team events scoring points for their respective houses. No matter what their sporting ability, all pupils are encouraged to aim high and do their very best! Parents are also actively encouraged to take part in the very popular parents’ races.