Sports & PE Blog

 

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Brooke Priory Competitive Fixtures Ethos

During competitive fixtures at Brooke Priory our aim is that the children will have the confidence to express themselves on the field, playing without any fear of failure due to the supportive surroundings and ethos created by the school as a whole. This will come as a result of the developmental and reassuring environment coming from all on the side lines.

During playing time the input and feedback that staff provide is predominantly encouragement, with some reinforcement and prompts related to tactics and strategy that have been developed and discussed beforehand in games lessons and ‘team talks’. For example, ‘remember your defensive line’ or ‘make sure all of their attackers are being marked’. Verbalising complex feedback related to technique and tactics will be left until between matches, intervals in play (such as at the end of a quarter or a half) or until the next games lesson. Attempting to impose an on the spot decision onto a child, for example shouting ‘dribble’, ‘pass’, shoot’ or something similar when a child receives the ball, is not encouraged. Empowering the children to make their own choices on the field of play develops their individual decision making, and encourages communication among themselves on the field.

At Brooke Priory we will always encourage the children to set themselves high standards and to try their best to be successful; and in terms of sport, strive to win any match or competition that they take part in. Indeed, it is great when the children are victorious in a match and experience this achievement. However, it is vitally important that we don’t use this to measure the overall success of fixtures. Did you enjoy it? What did you learn? What might you do differently next time? are questions we look to ask the children, rather than simply ‘did you win?’ During primary school, the enjoyment and reward that the children get from playing, along with the overall learning experience will always take priority over any result. For this reason, many of the fixtures the children play won’t necessarily have results recorded. Most, if not all, of the schools that we play with and against in these fixtures have the same approach, reinforcing the aim of creating the optimal learning experience for all.

As indicated above, at Brooke Priory we believe that sport fixtures are not solely about developing a child’s sporting ability, it is largely about developing them as an individual too. Our competitive fixtures programme provides a healthy balance of successes and setbacks, this is of course important in the overall development of any individual, particularly as a child gets older and moves into secondary school. Being gracious and reflective in victory and defeat are a huge part of the Brooke Priory ethos.

Triumph over adversity, supporting and encouraging team mates and adopting leadership roles are all examples of the personal development that goes with sporting fixtures and are individual qualities that can subsequently cross over to other elements of their education and development. Meeting new people and as a result showing respect for opponents through sportsmanship and mutual appreciation are also huge benefits of our fixtures programme.

Finally, it is always wonderful for the children to see their family and friends supporting them from the side lines. We ask that supporters provide encouragement, but to refrain from providing any tactical input, as this may confuse the children who may be under instructions from the teacher to do something different. Many thanks for supporting us with this and reinforcing our ethos from home. As I’m sure you understand, this is all to optimise the learning experience for the children.