Sports in Burnt Mill primary schools given priority

Burnt Mill Academy / Fri 2nd Oct 2015 at 09:06am

Burnt Mill Primary Sport
The move is part of the Trust’s mission to create future world class sportsmen and women by starting work on children’s skills and spotting talent as early as possible.

Burnt Mill Academy PE teacher Phil Dawes has been working with the primaries for some time, but is now tasked with taking charge of sport lessons for the Trust’s younger pupils. He has also now got professional coaches on his team to carry out the classes and clubs.

He believes the specialist schools programme in the 1990s – where schools were given specialist status in particular areas, including sport – produced the crop of sports stars who succeeded at London 2012.

Mr Dawes, sport co-ordinator for Cooks Spinney, Freshwaters, Roydon and Little Parndon primaries, said: “By me being freed up from Burnt Mill to devote all of my time to the primaries, it means the primary school teachers can use the PE lesson time to concentrate on their planning.

“PE provision in primaries often depends on the priority of the head or the skills and knowledge of the classroom teacher. Children can therefore miss out. Within BMAT, we see it as a much bigger priority which is why we are doing all we can to provide our youngest children with the very best opportunities within sport.”

Each primary now has a timetable of after-school sport clubs, with at least one opportunity every day of the week.

Mr Dawes said: “We are holding about 25 sport clubs across or primaries. That just wasn’t happening before.

“BMAT is really committed to this. It’s really exciting.”
Afterschool clubs include the traditional school sports of football and netball, but also basketball, judo, tae kwon do, Change for Life and fitness testing.

Children in Year 5 and 6 are also invited to join in with the wide range of enrichment clubs held at Burnt Mill Academy to take inspiration from Year 7 and 8 students.

Marios Solomonides, head of school at Freshwaters, said: “Specialist PE teaching at KS1 and KS2 ensures children get the very best. Being able to throw and catch a ball at the age of five gives children confidence in other areas of their lives.

“Since starting this initiative, we have seen more confident pupils who are developing essential skills and a love of physical activity. This can only be a good thing for the future of British sport.”

Helena Mills, head of BMAT schools, said: “I am delighted by the number of our young pupils who are getting involved in the new sport clubs and getting fit and healthy. Offering sport for all is so important.”

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