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We have a wealth of extra-curricular opportunities at Willesley Primary provided by: Specialist Teachers, the committed teaching staff and Learning Support Assistants, parents and the wider community, School Sports Partnership and outside agencies.
We have high ambitions for the children of Willesley School; aiming for 100% of children to be involved in some kind of extra-curricular opportunity throughout the school year. To achieve this we have tried to offer a wide and varied package of events to inspire and encourage everyone to participate.
By extra-curricular, we refer to the extended opportunities on offer to pupils. These opportunities may be part of the curriculum entitlement of the children but, are above and beyond the requirements. They may form part of the P.E curriculum such as Cross Country and orienteering, but may also be linked to other curriculum areas.
Throughout the year there are opportunities for children to take part in extended opportunities that link to The Arts. We have a Celebration of Music event where those working hard throughout the year to master musical instruments of their choice, have the opportunity to share their success. We also host a Willesley’s Got Talent event where pupils can audition to share their wealth of different skills, winners from the heats are invited to a Finals Evening. Pupils take part in an Ashby Arts and Juniors Speak events held by Ashby Rotary Club. Artist’s work are exhibited and five successful orators represent school at an evening event at the Methodist Church where they join with other Year 6 from local schools to enjoy an entertaining and informative evening.
Over the past few years there have been a changes in the way extra-curricular sporting opportunities have been delivered. This has been through the changing emphasis of sport in school, implementation of Sports Funding and through utilisation of Sports Leaders.
The aim of 100% participation in an extra- curricular Sporting activity is a tall order, especially with 420 pupils at school presently. Often those we would like to target for being a little more active are the reluctant club attendees or non-participants. We therefore offer far more practises within school, with lunchtime clubs and whole Year Group experiences being the norm.
Often the participation in these sessions is a precursor to a sporting event involving other schools in the partnership, which children are then invited to attend. They may be out of school hours, but are, on occasion, in school time. In this way we can involve all children and transporting the child to and from the event does not become a limiting factor for participation.
The more traditional sports of football, rugby, netball, hockey, swimming and tennis all have events throughout the year but we are also able to offer a selection of lesser known or newer sports to interest pupils. Boccia, table tennis, dodgeball and flag ball are a few of the new sports which we have enjoyed participating in. We have also placed emphasis on good sportsmanship with our sports teams; aiming, where possible, to gain the ‘Spirit of the Games’ award.
Through Sports Funding we have been able to employ a Sports Apprentice for the second year. This has enabled us to provide many more sports opportunities both in school and in after school events. With the support of the Sports Leaders within school, he has run clubs and attended events in a range of different sports, giving many children opportunities that would not have been possible.
Sports Funding has also enabled us to provide ‘taster days’ for year groups in a range of sports. Across the school there have been sessions of Handball, Flag Football, Orienteering and Multi-Sports, to name a few.
Currently Willesley School has achieved the Silver Schools Games Mark, an accreditation given to schools, providing positive experiences in sports within school. This year we are hoping to achieve the Gold Award. For this we need to increase participation in sporting events across school and provide opportunities for more teams to participate; encouraging sporting potential. We hope that this will be achieved in 2017.
The Obesity Strategy, brought out by the government in 2016, now suggests that all children between the ages of 5-18 be involved in 60 minutes of sporting activity a day (see Appendix 1). It is suggested that school takes responsibility for 30 minutes of this. We are trialling a programme of ‘Runner Beans’, a daily sports activity to raise the pulse rate, improve fitness levels and improve concentration. Increasing participation in extra-curricular activities, and sporting clubs can only add to this and improve health and wellbeing.
Our Residential Visits currently involve Year 6, (5 days) and Year 4,(3 days). These address the Outdoor and Adventurous aspects of the P.E curriculum, however they offer so much more. It may be the first time many pupils have spent an extended time away from home and it provides opportunities for independence, challenge and resilience. We are hoping to extend this to Year 2, with a local overnight stay. Whilst being part of the school week, it relies on the goodwill of staff to provide the 24hour care required.
We realise that sometimes families require after school care that might not fit into our extra- curricular plan. The provision of Clubs Complete, an independent after school care provider, means that those needing after school provision have the opportunity to book a place for their child. Clubs Complete do offer clubs for certain skills e.g. cooking, sports etc. which your child may find appealing.
Over the past few years, the extended opportunities Willesley School offers has flourished, providing all pupils with opportunities that will give them wider experiences and expand their horizons. We are proud to observe the children learning and growing with each new experience, without the support and dedication of the staff none of this would be possible.