We value the importance of sport and exercise. There are many benefits to the sporting activities we do, from keeping children healthy and developing the vital skills of agility, balance, co-ordination to working in teams and striving to achieve the best we can.
The new curriculum and Sports Premium funding have allowed us to provide a variety of different sporting opportunities to the children, including training for teaching and support staff to help deliver these. In addition to training for and competing in a number of sports events throughout the year, both internal and external, we are now teaching sports such as Squash (led by a local coach) and Tri-Golf. In Year 5 children have swimming lessons in the local pool and have a residential trip featuring many different adventurous activities. It has also allowed us to provide new sporting equipment and to replace the equipment that has been well used over the years in order that the children are able to use the very best sporting resources that we can provide.
The Sports clubs at Meridian are many and varied. At the start of the school day, some children attend a Morning Club where they focus on improving their agility, balance and co-ordination, which we have noticed helps both with their sporting ability and their focus and confidence in the classroom. At lunchtime, children can train with a local coach in Football, Tag Rugby and Cricket, while the younger children are kept active with multi-skills. After school, there are thriving Netball and Capoira Clubs, as well as a Change 4 Life Club before school to help improve fitness and confidence in those children who attend.
Over the past couple of years we have increased the number of competitions that we have entered, to include Football, Tag Rugby, Quicksticks Hockey, Hi-5 Netball, Invasion Games Tournament, Gymnastics, Tennis, Mini Olympics, Athletics and Kwik Cricket. We have also had a marked increase in our success. In 2014 we have won competitions in Football, Tennis, Invasion Games and Netball, and made it to the County Finals in Netball and Tennis. While the competitions are largely for children in Key Stage 2, every year group in the school goes to an external sporting event every year. We will also be introducing internal competitions in the school.
So far in 2015, we have won the inaugural Adapted Sports Competition in South Cambridgeshire for children with SEND and are through to the county finals in June. We are top of the local league in Football and we came first and second in the latest South Cambridgeshire Netball Tournament in March.
We have regular whole-school sporting events, such as a Skipping Day and Sports Day, as well as one-off events such as our Tour de France Day when Le Tour went through Cambridge. We also have visits and demonstrations from sports people including local sports clubs such as Cambridge United and marshall arts clubs, and we inform children about and encourage them to join sporting holiday clubs that are run locally.
Lunchtime and Breaktime
Children are generally very active during breaktime and lunchtime, even on days when they are not part of an organised club. Equipment such as hula-hoops, cricket stumps and bats, skipping ropes and quoits are provided for those children who want to use them and 4 Square - the popular game of choice of many Key Stage 2 children - is played with a friendly competitive spirit every day. In the Key Stage 1 playground, Year 6 Playleaders help to organise activities for the younger children in the school.
School grounds and Local Facilities
Our plans for improving the school grounds this year include setting up an orienteering course, installing a climbing wall and painting lines on the Key Stage 2 playground for a variety of sports.
The Comberton Playground next to our school, which many of the children use after school, has recently been given a total renovation and is hugely popular and well used for children to get plenty of exercise at the end of the school day. We have also paid for the tennis courts to be given a new lease of life, including the ability to have four mini-tennis courts for the children to use, and the local cricket club cuts a junior sized wicket for us that is a more suitable distance for our children.