Physical Activity is a ‘Birchwood Bolt’.
It is an inherent part of our school ethos and alongside the other three Bolts (Forest School, Food For Life and Pupil Voice) children are encouraged and supported in making healthy lifestyle choices. The child designed class 2km a day, our ‘get active’ poster campaign, Garden Gang, Chicken Monitors and Head Gardeners nurture of healthy produce for our school lunches are examples of pupil voice initiatives to encourage every child in school to seek out more opportunities to be physically active and lead a healthy lifestyle. Over the last year, Birchwood’s School Council have designed an activity/equipment rota to promote active play and lunchtimes (their favourite day is scooter day)!
All classes participate in 2 hours of National Curriculum PE per week taught by our own highly skilled staff. Staff are promoted as role models of physical activity. There is a whole school display of staff actively involved in their favourite sports – “I would like to surf like Mrs Wainer when I am older”. A comprehensive CPD package (led by the Subject Lead) is available to staff to support their lesson delivery involving pre teaching experiences, planning support, team teaching – all of which is sustainable over time. This ensures the PE curriculum is founded upon expert sequencing of knowledge, skills, concepts and understanding and contributes to rapid gains in pupil attainment and progress - 100% of pupils reach the KS2 national expectations in terms of the PE attainment target at the end of KS 2 and 53% exceed national expectations. 97% of pupils make expected progress and 50% make accelerated progress.
SPORTING SUCCESS ACCOLADES
2015 - School Games Gold Mark for PE provision
First primary school in Suffolk to be awarded the Association for Physical Education (AfPE) Quality Mark with distinction
Won Suffolk School of Sporting Excellence
2016 - Retained its School Games Gold Mark for PE provision
Suffolk Sport case study video work (sharing our exemplary practice nationally)
School’s SLT take part in a roundtable discussion at 10 Downing Street with ministers regarding physical activity and tackling obesity
2017 - Retained its School Games Gold Mark for PE provision
Won a National Rugby Hero Award
Won Suffolk School of Sporting Excellence
Subject Lead present Birchwood’s PE Curriculum at the annual Suffolk Sport Regional Conference
2018 - Won the County LTA Education Award for tennis provision
Reaccredited with the (AfPE) Quality Mark with distinction – the first Primary School in Suffolk to do so!
2019 - Retained its School Games Gold Mark for PE provision and due to this sustained achievement over the previous 4 years has been upgraded to Platinum (one of two Suffolk Schools to achieve this accolade)!
Birchwood’s most recent OFSTED report (Oct 2016) reported “the effective use of sports funding has ensured that almost all pupils regularly take part in sport each week. Pupils know how to keep themselves fit and healthy and thrive in sport, many taking part in competitions at a local and national level’”.
The school offers a broad range of extra curricular provision to support the Bolt Curriculum: boys & girls football, running, circuits, StreetFunk dance, netball, basketball, start to move, rugby, volleyball, athletics, tennis, Birchwood Boot Camp, cricket and cycling. Curriculum time ‘taster sessions’ prior to the commencement of the club promote interest (the increasing ‘take up’ statistics show this has been a real success). Intra School Competitions introduce the children to ‘competing’ against those they know and Inter School Competitions see pupils compete against other schools, at local, regional and national level. Teams represent the majority of the ‘clubs’ mentioned above, whilst additional entries are made into ‘friendly’ tournaments. Over the last 4 years, utilising the Sports Funding to subsidise the clubs, we have seen a significant rise in the number of pupils engaging with our extended learning opportunities from 12% in 2012/13, 69% in 2014/15 to 86% 2018/19 (with 95% take up across KS2). Pupils show high levels of interest to pursue ‘sporting development’ beyond the hours of the school day. 88% of pupils in the school participate in ‘organised’ sport provision outside of school time. Pupils have improved their outcomes in lessons and competitions locally and regionally e.g. in March 2014 the swim team finished in 2nd place in the pyramid schools gala, in March 2015 the swim team improved by finishing 1st and retained the trophy in 2016, 2017 & 2018 (the event did not take place in 2019 – Birchwood won the Ipswich Schools Gala in this year). The tennis team won the pyramid (2017, 2018 & 2019) and School Games (2017 & 2018) tournaments and finished 3rd in the regional finals ’17 and 1st in ‘18. Other team and individual successes have occurred in a variety of sporting activities.