I often consider what is the aim of a good PE and Sport department? What constitutes success, and how should it be measured?
I have known a range of criteria used as signs of success: having an extensive number of activities and sports in the curriculum; extended hours of extra-curricular practices; regularly reaching the National Finals; having the largest number of elite sportswomen competing on the regional and national stage; playing the ‘best schools’ in fixtures; winning the most fixtures, the smartest kit, the best match teas, the best exam results, the best tour destination. The list goes on and on.
However, I see the mark of success being an inclusive department where all students feel valued and fulfilled whatever their sporting skill or ability.
This vision promotes a curriculum which is designed to nurture the very best out of each and every student. It embraces learning at all levels, and creates enthusiasm and motivation at every stage of competition and participation, be it A team to D team, intra-class matches, county tournaments, national finals or undertaking exercise every day for a week. Success, in my view, is where the quality of learning enables girls to explore, develop, fail, analyse and progress. Success is about ensuring that each individual feels she can be successful in any activity and sport that she enjoys. Success is one where everyone makes progress, and where the quality of provision is consistent for all students.
We will have succeeded if our leavers are enthused, excited and motivated about sport and exercise, if they leave confident about getting involved in sport and understanding the long term benefits of continuing involvement and participation in sport and exercise.
Successful PE departments empower, develop self-belief, ensure self-analysis, a strong work ethic and a ‘can do’ attitude. We must allow our girls to grow, make sport accessible and make it simple. Sport is not just for the elite, sport is for all.
Director of Sport