Providing sporting opportunities for each and every one of its students is something that King Edward VI Specialist College aimed for – and achieved. Lisa Symonds finds out how
King Edward VI is a specialist sports college based in Bury St Edmunds and attended by around 1,305 students aged between 13 and 18. The school, an officially accredited ‘healthy school’, is dedicated to providing its students with a curriculum that – from elite students to the most challenged – is 100 per cent inclusive.
In creating a mission statement, the school – which also plays host to the Bury St Edmunds School Sport Partnership (an umbrella organisation under which a network of 30 schools and numerous other partner businesses and agencies work) – has adopted the Olympic movement’s goal, which reads as follows: ‘To contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practiced without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play’.
It is the aim of King Edward VI to ensure that each of its students:
- is committed to PE and sport and makes them a central part of their lives both inside and outside of the school gates
- knows and understands what they are trying to achieve and how to go about doing it
- understands that PE and sport are an essential part of a healthy, active lifestyle
- has the confidence to get involved and get active
- possesses the skills and control required to get active
- confidently and willingly takes part in a range of competitive, creative and challenging activities, both as individuals or as part of a team
- gives thought to what they are doing and makes appropriate decisions for themselves
- demonstrates the desire to improve and achieve in relation to their own abilities
- possesses stamina, suppleness and strength to remain active
- enjoys PE, school and community sport.
|The opportunity to take part in new activities, e.g. dance and trampolining, along with more traditional games.|
|The refurbishment of old facilities and introduction of new ones.|
|The improvement of student working conditions.|
|To create a genuine excitement and interest in ‘getting involved’.|
|To teach leadership skills that can be used outside of the PE department.|
|The creation of healthier lifestyles.|
1) day-to-day activity levels (e.g. stair climbing) 2) exercise (e.g. self-defence)
3) higher level (e.g. teams sports such as rugby).
|Sport Education: independent learning/responsibility training.|
|Develop links with community clubs, governing bodies and agencies.|
|Provision for gifted and talented students.|
All change in the quest for sports for all
In its efforts to deliver high quality PESSCL and ensure that all under-16s have access to it for a minimum of two hours per week, King Edward VI and its partnership of 25 primary and middle schools have staged a PE revolution that is exercised both within the school gates and beyond. Plans are in place to extend the school’s exemplary provisions to post-16s and increase the target participation in the run up to 2012.
Beyond the PE department
As well as delivering high quality sport for all, the college has worked with partner schools and the local community to improve links between PE and other subject areas. Extending the PE department’s ethos and activities beyond its traditional boundaries has proved a huge success and the projects listed below, say the college, are just the beginning:
- media – sports journalism focus
- art – motion drawing introduced to dance classes
- ICT – the buying in of Adobe video editing software
- maths – developing statistics based on fitness tests
- languages – football poster display funding.
The school’s ongoing plans to integrate sport into other subjects and expand its inclusive, umbrella culture – each of which is student-led – include:
- music – composition of music themes for sports festivals
- drama – productions or short films focusing on sport/festivals
- nutrition – the creation of a healthy menu of food
- the creation of a student-led media team
- student-penned sports reports introduced on sports college website
- cross-curricular challenges – sport- or exercise-related team quizzes.
Variety is the spice of life
Keeping it interesting and exploring the non-traditional is the key to the college’s wide and exciting PE curriculum. Here’s what King Edward VI’s healthy menu of PE and sport has to offer its students:
- Sports Leaders 1
- Sports Leaders 2 (community)
- Internal accreditation scheme (personal improvement, participation, leadership and responsibility)
- GCSE PE Games
- GCSE PE Full
- GCSE Dance
- AS Dance
- A2 Dance
- AS PE
- A2 PE
- Mini basketball leaders course
- FA level one course
- FA junior football organisers course
- Young helpers courses
- Sport Education (a programme dedicated to increasing responsibility and leadership potential with students taking on roles such as resource manager, warm-up coach and captain. This filters through the pastoral system).
Some of the non-traditional activities available to students include:
Martial arts, yoga, trampolining, problem solving, orienteering, new age kurling (www.kurling.co.uk), table tennis, golf, fitness suite initiation, fitness training and testing (including balance and coordination tests), fundamental skill development (skill, agility and quickness training – SAQ), students learning how to administer and run small-scale round robins, leagues and other competitions.
Dance at King Edward VI
Students at the college are offered the opportunity to study AS, A2 and GCSE dance from Year 10 onwards and all Year 9 students gain dance experience. Partnerships with middle and primary schools enhance the current remit and also act to ease the transition from Year 8 to 9. Dance strategies and activities include:
- minimum 10 hours’ dance for all Year 9 students
- recruitment of an additional full-time teacher to facilitate dance for boys and teach to A-level
- establishment of links with middle schools to support dance
- research dance for boys
- increase range of activities/styles inside and outside curriculum
- consider introducing new course to allow more ‘non-specialist’ dance, e.g. GCSE expressive arts
- ensure options system allows maximum dance take-up;
- develop dance curriculum
- at KS4
- link with professional dance groups and organise workshops
- by visitors
- organise programme of visits to dance events
- feature dance prominently in annual arts festival – include professional workshop activity.
ICT and PE join forces
Ambitious, hi-tech and taking students directly into the world of 21st-century sports analysis, Kandle software allows King Edward VI students to record their sporting performances, view in slow motion and, using graphics and other tools, evaluate and improve their skills.
Kandle is used in both PE lessons or coaching sessions and the college’s A-level students use it to create detailed printed analysis of their performance as part of their coursework.The combining of sport and ICT doesn’t end there with the PE department:
- promoting the use of PowerPoint presentations by staff and students
- delivering interactive quizzes from www.teachPE.com
- encouraging the production of videos by both staff and students
- marking out the internet as a primary source of research for class and coursework.
What the students say
‘Amazing’, ‘brilliant’, ‘such a positive atmosphere’ and ‘can we do more PE?’ are just a selection of the Year 9 reactions to their first two weeks of learning at King Edward VI.
Find out more
King Edward VI School Sports College