Posted: Wed, 30 Aug 2023 12:00
As part of Active Schools project that is delivered by Active Suffolk and was first launched in Babergh and Mid Suffolk in 2019, Wells Hall Primary School were one of the first schools to get on board and were supported to host their very own Active Week during the summer of 2019.
4 years on and the legacy of the Active Week is still alive and kicking! The school continues host their Active Week and this year in June, the Active Week was able to return in an even larger scale and involve several different local organisations and neighbouring primary schools.
The week ran over 5 days and incorporated the school's Sports Day during the middle of the week. Local primary schools were invited to attend and join in the week of fun on set days, ensuring that opportunities to get involved with new sports and activities were available to the wider community of children and young people. Across the 5 days, over 700 children participated from across 7 local primary schools.
Josh Smith, PE Lead at Wells Hall, wanted the children to have new experiences and step away from the traditional sports they already do within PE lessons or extracurricular clubs. The Active Week focussed on Y5 & 6 pupils to support transition by boosting their confidence to try new activities whilst meeting some of their future peers. It aimed to provide pupils with activity opportunities that they could continue beyond the week, either throughout the summer holidays and/or as an extracurricular activity outside of school.
''The purpose of Active Week was to get children active again and open their eyes to all different clubs that go on within the local area. It's important to keep children active outside of school and even more since the pandemic. It was brilliant to see so many children taking part in a variety of different activities and to see the community come together to give the children this opportunity. We are already looking forward to the next one''
In a collaboration with Wells Hall, Active Suffolk, Abbeycroft Leisure, and Babergh & Mid Suffolk District Council, the school were thrilled to offer a wide variety of 25 different activities – ranging from mini golf to fencing, roundnet to orienteering, and dance to archery, to name a few. The school and all partners involved are very grateful to all the local organisations that gave up their time to deliver sessions across the week, it simply wouldn't have been possible without them.
Headteacher at Wells Hall Primary School, Ros Towns said:
"Our activity week gives children a taster of so many sports, some of which they wouldn't have tried before. We wanted to show them that sport can be for everyone and the importance of leading healthy and active lifestyles.
"The activity week was a huge success, led by our head of PE Josh Smith, and with the support of so many fantastic groups in and around our local community."
Abbeycroft Leisure played a key role in ensuring the week was a success through offering their Explore Outdoor services as well as a special visit to the Kingfisher Leisure Centre's swimming pool for the Wells Hall children. Explore Outdoor were able to deliver sessions on axe throwing, archery and orienteering, as well as bring their climbing wall to the school.
"It was great to be part of the Wells Hall Activity Week. Our team of Explore Outdoor instructors were able to provide a wide range of alternative physical activities including climbing, axe throwing and orienteering. The young people thrived on the opportunity to try new things and working with their class mates in different ways." – Frank Carn-Pryor, Sports and Outdoor Activity Officer, Abbeycroft Leisure
"It was lovely seeing the children challenge themselves and try something new." – Jasmine Rutterford, Senior Lead Outdoor Instructor, Abbeycroft Leisure
"We pride ourselves on being able to provide inclusive and exciting activities for schools and young people, being active doesn't have to be about football or running. We want young people to get outdoors and be confident trying new things." – Tina Campan, Senior Lead Outdoor Instructor, Abbeycroft Leisure
The school have already selected dates for Active Week 2024 to continue the great work that has been created this year. They hope to offer more specialist activities and involve more schools. To support delivery for 2024, a post-event survey was distributed to all staff and pupils that participated or had involvement in the week. The results speak for themselves with:
100% of staff said they would support their school to participate in the Active Week again in the future.
96% of pupils said they would like to participate in the Active Week again in the future.
92% of all staff & pupils that responded rated their experience of the Active Week as 8 or above/10.
55% of schools said they will be implementing activities the pupils participated in within active week back at their own school. These activities include mini golf, street dance, round net, badminton & football.
52% of pupils that responded either plan to or have since taken part in one or more of the activities outside of school following the active week.
These activities include mini golf, maxim yoga, street dance, kickboxing, crazy golf, little musketeers fencing, maxim nerf battle, zerobounds roundnet, badminton, quay dance, football, climbing wall, axe throwing & archery.
Furthermore, Wells Hall have 8 new activity clubs starting in September, all of which are activities that were provided during active week. The school have listened to the positive feedback from staff and pupils as to what they wanted to do more of. The clubs available will vary from fencing, to yoga, as well as including sessions from Abbeycroft Leisure who will be providing Balanceability to reception classes.
Following on from the Zerobounds roundnet taster day, two schools have purchased the equipment needed to enable them to take it back to their school and offer the all-inclusive, adaptable, and brilliantly fun sport to pupils. Zerobounds will be providing staff with CPD which is available to all schools involved and wider Suffolk schools so that they can deliver roundnet within their PE lessons or as an extracurricular activity. A fantastic example of what a powerful impact the week has had, not only on the children involved on the day, but the wider staff and community!
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