Five Foundations For Character
At Northern House, our sports’ programme is ever evolving as we endeavour to provide a broad range of opportunities for our young people to be more active.
It is not always easy, in a small school, to offer the conventional team sports. Our current pupil body is generally not football focused, although we do have some very committed players. This is exacerbated by only being able to include members from two year groups in competitive games. Consequently, the usual round inter school games has rather dried up this year leaving pupils to join in break & lunch football on the astro pitch for their fix.
Fortunately, staff have become very creative in expanding the range of sports on offer and the introduction of a number of new activities has encouraged a much wider range of pupils to engage. We have developed a new course in Outdoor Education, built around higher adrenaline activities like skiing, kayaking, ice skating and climbing, all using local facilities. Our equine programmes continue at three different centres.
The primary & lower school Forest Schools programme is developing higher level navigation and more independent walking as a prologue to taking on The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in year 9, and this latter course is gearing up for this year’s first expeditions and overnight camps.
In PE, all pupils have had the chance to play table tennis and badminton, football, rugby and basketball. All years have also had the first course in their swimming programme and visited the trampoline centre at a nearby school for specialist instruction. There are also additional sessions in the fitness suite for pupils to enjoy. And we are just half way through the year!
The big excitement since Christmas (as if the above wasn’t enough!) has come in the form of the new roller hockey choice for a Friday afternoon - now our most popular option in this session.
Through this wider range of offerings, we guarantee that every pupil is getting chance to take part in physical activities across their week. However, as our time is limited, and our pupils travel by taxi, we urge them to take part in physical activity outside school, either through clubs, or by just getting out on their bikes, in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle - a message reinforced in their bi-weekly PSHE lessons.
As the year rolls on and we come towards pupils picking options for their next year, we plan to continue to broaden choice. There will be additions to the PE curriculum and expansion of both Forest Schools and Outdoor Education. We will be adding challenges through our revitalised IT provision to encourage positive involvement with exercise and physical activity. Meanwhile, in the Friday afternoon slot, it appears almost anything can happen, so watch this space for developments!