k) Sports Leaders
In Year 6, all pupils have the opportunity to undergo the Shinfield St. Mary's Sports Leader Training Programme. Pupils are required to submit an application to the Head of P.E., stating the reasons why they would be a good sports leader. They are then invited to attend the training which takes place in school time, led by a leading secondary P.E. teacher from The Holt School which is an Ofsted rated Outstanding school. Upon successful completion of the training, the sports leaders are awarded their sports leader badges and two sports captains are then announced. These two individuals have shown leadership skills above and beyond their peers during the training.
I have waited since Year 3 to be a Sports Leader and now I am one! I enjoy helping the younger children at lunchtimes - it is important to lead by example as they will copy everything that I say and do.
Year 6 child (Sports Leader)
Main Duties and Responsibilities of Sports Leaders:
- To help other pupils engage and enjoy being physical.
- To ensure smart Shinfield St Mary’s P.E. kit is worn in line with school policies in every P.E. lesson and when called upon outside of lesson time.
- To play an active, helpful role in organising and delivering activities outside of lesson time to other pupils.
- To set up and put away any equipment needed for break times and lunch times and to supervise its use at all times.
- To keep all equipment safe by storing / locking it up in line with school policy.
- To ensure that the area being used for the activities is safe.
- To keep registers of pupils attending the activities if required.
- To assist with scoring the activities if required.
- To report any accidents or broken / damaged equipment to the adult who is on duty.
- To liaise with the Sports Captains and P.E. Subject Leader when required.
- To wear the Sports Leader badge with pride by being an immaculate role model both in and outside school.
In support of our most recent School Games Platinum application, a case study was written by the Head of P.E. under the following title:
Demonstrate how you are developing and co-creating your offer with your young people.
At Shinfield St. Mary’s CE Junior School, we have a team of Sports Leaders from our Year 6 cohort who develop, lead and evaluate sport across the school. To become a Sports Leader, children have to complete the Shinfield Sports Leader Application Form. This is then read by the Head of P.E. and those successful applicants are invited to attend an afternoon of training by a local secondary school P.E. teacher. If applicants pass the training, then they are awarded the title of Sports Leader. From this group, two children are chosen to be Sports Captains – these are individuals who have out-shone their peers in leadership, organisation and enthusiasm. In the 2021/2022 academic year, 32 children were awarded the title of Sports Leader along with 2 Sports Captains – this was the most the school had ever had.
The intent of the Sports Leaders, this academic year in particular, was to aid in the recovery of extra-curricular sport across all years, following two years of Covid disruption.
Year 3/4 extra-curricular sport was the main focus for the Sports Leaders. Due to Covid, they had been unable to partake in extra-curricular sport for two years. We felt that these two year groups were the most vulnerable due to their lack of full-time school on top of their lack of extra-curricular sport opportunities. Dynamos Cricket and Mini Tennis Red were also the two sports targeted more heavily in the Summer Term 2022.
The Sports Leaders all chose a minimum of one extra-curricular sports club, run from 3:30pm to 4:30pm, to attend in a supportive capacity. Many chose more than one and this was recognised and praised by the Head of P.E. During these extra-curricular sports clubs, they designed and led some of the activities over the 10 weeks and by the last week, were able to take large parts of the sessions under the watchful eye of the member of staff in-charge.
In addition to the extra-curricular clubs, over two thirds of the Sports Leaders helped run the inaugural Wokingham Year 3/4 Dynamos Cricket Festival, hosted by Shinfield St. Mary’s CE Junior School. Each Sports Leader ran their own station whilst the 18 school teams rotated around the field, developing their fielding, batting and bowling skills in a fun environment. The station themes were chosen by the Head of P.E. and then the Sports Leader allocated, would decide with the Head of P.E. how it would be addressed in a fun way for the Year 3s and 4s. Engagement and enjoyment were the two key foci. Many of the Sports Leaders adjusted their station during the festival itself as they were finding it was too easy, too challenging or was not capturing the attention of the children in the way it was designed.
During the school’s Sports Day, the Sports Leaders were put into pairs and were each allocated a group of 8 children. They travelled around the field events with their group, demonstrating each station, collating scores and keeping morale high.
Participation numbers increased.
Teaching the Sports Leaders how to spot and appropriately adjust activities, whilst children were doing it, was the biggest challenge. It required them to think of alternative methods, confidently stop the active children, explain the adjustments and then restart the activity.
The sustainability of the Sports Leader programme at Shinfield St. Mary’s relies on a member of staff managing the Sports Leaders on a weekly basis. With the correct guidance, this role can be shared with a Teaching Assistant who does not have the same classroom responsibilities as a full-time teacher. This is something that Shinfield St. Mary’s CE Junior School will be looking at for the 2022/2023 academic year.
Start Small, Grow Big – Having a small core group of Sports Leaders who you can rely on at break times, lunchtimes and at extra-curricular sports clubs is far more beneficial than large groups who are not 100% into the role.
Champion the Role – The status of being a Sports Leader needs to hold a significant amount of weighting in order for the children to be effective. A simple application process means the children are not just signing up on a whim – they have to go away and write their application in their own time. Unless the children show a disregard to the application/training process, then they all ‘pass’ but the fact that they could fail, means that their success in the role holds far more importance.