Physical Education is at the heart of everything we are striving to achieve at Prendergast Primary School. It encapsulates the enthusiasm, passion, determination and the will to want to improve and learn that we try to instil in every child that joins us at Prendergast. In line with the National Curriculum, Mr Watson and Coach Harry have worked to provide an inclusive, effective and fun PE Timetable that allows the children a variety of enriching activities all year round. The teaching staff made up of Coach Harry and Stanley and supported by Coach Michael, consistently aim to provide the best physical education possible for our children, ranging from EYFS to Year 6. The quality of subject knowledge, as well as the care for the children is something we try to show off within our lessons on a day-to-day basis. If Covid lockdowns shone a light on anything, it was the need for quality physical activity for our young people.
Ultimately, our Physical Education set-up is there to provide the children at Prendergast with the best opportunities to develop the vast array of skills needed within sporting activity, as they develop through the key stages.
Within EYFS PE, the focus is on developing fundamental movement skills, which provide a crucial platform for growth, not only in PE, but as the children progress through school life altogether. Skills such as agility, balance and coordination have been developed through Gymnastics, Dance and team-building sessions. These skills allow our young children to become more familiar and confident with their bodies. PE sessions from such an early point in their development is also crucial from a social and mental wellbeing standpoint. The opportunities for social and mental development through communication, teamwork and problem-solving activities are clear to see.
As our children progress into Key Stage 1, focus remains on the development of these fundamental movement skills. We also begin to introduce the idea of attack vs defence within team games, as well as when working as an individual. Children are taught these tactics on a basic level through a huge variety of sports. The PE Team also give the children the chance to develop ball skills with their hands, and feet during Lower KS1.
Within Key Stage 2, pupils aim to build on the foundation of those fundamental movement skills, by developing their flexibility, strength, technique, control and balance. This is partnered with the introduction of further competitive sports. We are lucky at Prendergast to be able to offer such a wide range of activities within their Physical Education. These consist of Football, Rugby, Basketball, Handball, Netball, Cricket, Rounders, Dance, Hockey, Gymnastics, Tennis and Badminton. Having these on offer not only allow the children to experience sporting activities that they may not have outside of school, but also provides the opportunity for the PE Department to ensure the children are able to gain the skills needed in a great range of different sports and activities.
A unique feature of the Prendergast PE offering is the Extra Active sessions. These sessions were brought into the timetable to ensure that every child at Prendergast was getting their 2 hours of physical activity each week. Within these sessions, the PE Team aim to provide children with the opportunity to complete activities that they might not usually experience in a regular curriculum-based lesson. Examples of these are Archery and Boxing, and the children have responded to these exceptionally well.
Competitive Sports at Prendergast Primary
Over the past few years, Prendergast Primary have established ourselves as an incredibly strong sporting outfit when it comes to inter school competitions. This is often a bi-product of all of the hard work our brilliant children put in during PE lessons in school, coupled with their amazing talent in a number of different sports. Since entering the ‘YourSchoolGames’ network of schools, we have been lucky enough to take part in several Athletics, Football and Netball competitions. In 2021, we saw off our first ever group of Year 6’s as they began their secondary education journey, but they didn’t leave empty handed, with a number of them competing in the Summer QuadKids Athletics tournament and bringing home the trophy and gold medals after an excellent performance.
Late 2021 also saw a first for Prendergast, with us entering our first ever Netball team into a YourSchoolGames tournament at St Dunstans Jubilee Ground. The girls were outstanding on the day, and were able to show off all the hard work they had been putting in. They had never played as a team before the day, but any opening day nerves were soon put to bed, as we finished 3rd in the tournament after several excellent performances.
The 2021-2022 period has been one to remember for football at Prendergast, with both boys’ and girls’ teams showing off just why we are one of the schools locally that not many want to play against! Led by Coach Harry and Ms Fogarty, the boys team made up of Year 4,5 & 6 boys have competed in the Blackheath Schools League on a Saturday morning. The boys came on leaps and bounds over the season, culminating in an appearance in the Mary Bennett Shield, earned by the brilliant final league position. The boys remained unbeaten until the semi-final, where we crashed out on penalties after deserving to progress to the final. The boys also competed in a YourSchoolGames tournament in early 2022, where all of the progress they had made over the season really showed. They put on excellent performance after excellent performance to reach the final and eventually bring home the silver medal on the day.
Girl’s football has always been something we have been incredibly passionate about at Prendergast Primary. We boast a school full of girls who are willing to give everything a go, and when it comes to football, a group of incredibly talented young girls. When the YourSchoolGames tournament came around, we were so excited for the girls to showcase what a brilliant team they have become. While being the youngest team at the entire tournament, with Year 3 & 4 girls all playing their part, the girls were absolutely brilliant for the entire day, and finished 3rd on the day.
Similarly, to our Physical Education programme, at Prendergast we pride ourselves on offering as many extra-curricular clubs as possible throughout the year, to ensure there is something for everyone! Over to 2021-22 school year, we have offered – Football (KS1), Football (KS2), Netball, Multisport, Gymnastics (EYFS, KS1) and Roller-skating. We have plans in place to continue to increase the sports club offering with the help of the club links we have developed from the local area.
Let Girls Play
In 2022, we supported the ‘LetGirlsPlay’ FA Initiative, which aimed to get as many young girls playing football as possible. We put on an afternoon session for any girls who wanted to join in KS2 and had over 60 girls come down to get involved which was amazing. The session involved several skills-based activities, as well as some fun football adapted games, such as football bowling, footgolf and foot-tennis! The girls all absolutely loved it and were a pleasure to coach all afternoon.
Club links at Prendergast
Over the past few years, we have made it a real point of call to develop links with Sports Clubs in the local area. Not only does this allow the children at Prendergast to experience high level coaching, but also allows our own PE Department to upskill their own coaching for future year groups. Most importantly however, it provides a great opportunity for the children to continue the love of sport outside school. Within the 21-22 school year, we have established some brilliant links with external clubs which allow for just this. Firstly, Old Alleynians Rugby Club. Spike Kenny was kind enough to come down and put on a half term worth of sessions for both Year 5 and 6, during the Spring Term. Spike is a brilliant coach, not only is he incredibly knowledgeable, but he has that ability to connect with the children straight away, something which we feel our own PE Department do also, so the fit was perfect.
After the Spring Half Term, Spike commented “Thank you for letting me come in and coach the children in your Y5 & Y6 classes! They were a pleasure to coach and it’s great to come in, engage with children who’ve had limited access to rugby and watch them grow in confidence and skill level. They are without doubt some of the most engaged groups I’ve ever had the pleasure to coach, and I really enjoyed it!” This is brilliant for us to hear, and we were delighted when Spike informed us of the number of children from Prendergast who had since been down to the rugby club and signed up.
Secondly, in 2020 we were lucky enough to welcome Platform Cricket to Prendergast. They came down for a half term to offer Cricket coaching for the Year 4’s at the time. The standard of coaching, and the progress of the children that was made over the half term stuck in our minds and has since meant that we have contacted them again. In 2022, the guys from Platform Cricket have kindly come back down to offer the Year 4’s another half term of coaching. We are looking forward to seeing another really effective half term of cricket coaching for our brilliant Year 4’s.