We know it has been a difficult year for schools and indeed students and so, as part of National School Sport Week (19th-26th June 2021), the Humber SGO Group and Active Humber wanted to re-engage, inspire, and celebrate participation in PE, School Sport and Physical Activity with schools and Strand wanted to be a part of this.

All the 120 schools that registered to take part put in so much effort but your school stood out as one of particular interest given the volume and variety of activity your students took part in. So, a great big thank you for organising it all! Craig Dobbs (SGO) has also praised your energy and enthusiasm over this week, and in general, so it certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Jo McDonald, School Games Development Manager

Why did your Academy decide to participate?

As an Academy, we believe PE plays a vital part in the recovery of the health and wellbeing of our young people. We wanted to provide an opportunity for students to reconnect socially and recover through positive experiences which would help rebuild confidence and ability that may have been affected by the pandemic. Our children love working together and their teamwork shines through, especially during Sport!

What activities did the children participate in?

We used our school Games Values as a Focus and the whole school completed a challenge every day! Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were personal challenges (the children attempted a challenge and then tried to beat their personal best). On Thursday and Friday, the focus was on teamwork and working together to complete a challenge in their house teams! 

Each day had a value at the core with each child being encouraged to adopt and demonstrate the ‘Spirit of the Games’ during our school events. Each day, two children were nominated from each class and were awarded certificates for displaying the values during their activities. On Wednesday, Education Group came to Strand, they delivered a ‘Follow the Flame Olympic Dance’ workshop to every class. We discussed the upcoming Olympics, and each class were given a Country (related to ones in their topic work), they learned sequences and put together a dance. We had Spanish Flamenco, a Greek Zorba dance, and an African Aboriginal piece to name a few. The children absolutely loved this experience, and every child took part with smiles all around.

On Friday, we focused on football and had our very own Strand Euros Intra-Competition! It was a rainy day, but we altered plans to move the competition indoors and it did not put a dampener on our children’s enthusiasm. Every child spent time with GSTET and played matches that ended in heated finals within bubbles. There were also tricks and skills and football fun which ended in medals being given to children showing Passion (one of our values) for their commitment on the day. 

What have the children taken from this experience?

Our children had their worlds turned upside down, when Covid-19 hit; sport and physical activity were put on hold. It was fabulous to be back together in this capacity, with Strand feeling full of energy once again during our National Sports Week. We believe we have played an essential role in their recovery with celebrating the return of youth sport and its power to bring people back together with a week of schools hosting sporting activities up and down the country. Active Humber asked schools to make a commitment to this year’s campaign, ‘Together Again’. On signing up, we received bibs for our Sports Leaders and stickers to support our values. Once we completed our successful week, we received a beautiful participation plaque!

We hadn’t realised how much we had missed seeing our children enjoy and compete in physical activities. A lot of our children reminisced about past times when they had gone to Cross Country at Weelsby Woods, Delta Games and competed in the Athletics at King George Stadium. It made us remember arriving at the stadium where these children had never been before and commenting at the end of the day, “I feel like a real athlete”! We can’t thank Craig Dobbs, our SGO representative, enough for continuing to organise opportunities like this.

I have been lucky enough since returning in January to teach each year group PE. I have loved seeing the commitment and the progress the children have all made, however small, I can see a difference in their confidence which is fabulous to see. Some of our Year 6 children were so upset to have missed their last Sports Day at Strand due to a class isolation last week. We made sure we had their sports day on their return to make up for it, and I felt privileged to be a part of their last one. They all tried their absolute best and received a certificate and a medal at the end; what superstars. I will miss them all!

Carla Probert, Teaching Assistant at Strand Primary Academy