Sports Department Guiding Principles
Cultivating an Enriched Environment
We provide an environment that is safe, inclusive, fun, caring, active and appropriate to stage of development with teachers who are positive role modellers.
We set clear outcomes, assess, track and set targets to ensure optimum progress, teach physical literacy, promote decision making and self-analysis, set challenges, encourage child-centred learning and ensure that teachers have excellent subject knowledge, are up to date with current practice and are experimental and reflective.
Stimulating wider Personal Growth
Our pupils will develop emotional, social, physical, intellectual and communication skills. They will develop their self-esteem, physical literacy, specific sport skills, work ethic, sport etiquette, teamwork, and ability to cope with competition.
These guiding principles will support our pupils to…
Stay physically active throughout their lifetime
Reach the top ranks of amateur and professional competition if they choose the path for elite training
Develop vital life skills that will enhance their journey to adulthood and beyond
SPORTS DEPARTMENT CURRICULUM POLICY
Maximising Individual Potential
At Beechwood Park, we follow aspects of the Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) programme which maximises individual potential and involvement and which allows our pupils to have fun, to improve their techniques and develop their movement. Stages 1, 2 and 3 develop physical literacy before puberty so children have the basic skills to be active for life. Physical literacy also provides the foundation for those who choose to pursue elite training. With our junior children we develop basic movement competence, focusing on agility, balance and coordination. Basic movement competence may be considered as a building block for more complex activities. As the children get older and begin to have Games lessons, we use, amongst a variety of methods, the Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) coaching philosophy. Athletes learn and develop skills within carefully-constructed practices, which are planned to meet the specific learning objective of the session, so that the child is integrated in rather than isolated from the acquisition of skills. Games are often small sided which ensures that each pupil has more touches of the ball and a far greater opportunity to put their skills into practice than in games involving more participants. Through fun and highly-engaging sessions in which all pupils thrive; we can empower them to execute their skills much more effectively. Time spent practicing technique within the context of a real game will have a direct correlation on improved performance and mastery of skills.
Beechwood Park offers an enviable range of sporting opportunities for all of our pupils. As part of their curriculum, pupils in the Junior Department have two Physical Education lessons per week. Between Years 3 to 6, pupils have one PE lesson each week. PE lessons include gymnastics, ball skills, athletics and swimming. Beechwood Park teaches swimming throughout the year in our pool complex.
Pupils in Years 3 to 6 also have two games sessions weekly. Additionally, Year 5 pupils have sport on Wednesday afternoons. As children move up the school, opportunities to represent Beechwood Park in fixtures and tournaments increase. We field an extremely large number of girls and boys teams from Years 3 to Year 8.
In the Middle and Senior Departments, the standard sports taught are
Sport for All
BPS Sport for All provides a variety of sports for pupils of all sporting abilities. At Beechwood Park, our extensive fixture list provides the opportunity for all pupils (from Year 3 upwards) to represent their School at some point during each academic year. To demonstrate our belief that we value all children equally, our most experienced coaches work throughout the ability levels. Pupils from Years 5 to 8 not actively representing the school in a team on a match day have the chance to take part in martial arts, orienteering, tennis, sailing, badminton, fencing, swimming and table tennis, usually led by visiting specialist coaches, who help these pupils work towards nationally-recognised accreditations in some of these sports.
A Broad Sporting Base
The Beechwood Park Sports Department is extremely proud to offer an extensive range of sports in addition to our standard sports which can be accessed through our Sport for All programme and After-School activities. Research shows that most elite athletes did multiple sports when they were younger and that this comprehensive base was instrumental to their success in a specific sport later on. In line with such research, we believe that if children participate in a variety of sports, rather than specializing in only one sport from an early age, they can develop a wide range of tactical, technical, mental and physical skills. Additionally, they gain a more holistic understanding of teamwork, leadership and learn how to celebrate their victories and manage their defeats. The resulting breadth of skill enables our pupils better to perform in their specialised sports at a later age.
Integral to our sports programme, extra-curricular clubs enable pupils to develop a breadth of sporting experiences. The School offers an After-School Activity programme to all children from Year 1 onwards. The majority of children in the School choose to access this programme. We are very proud of the range of extra-curricular activities that we have on offer as well as their inclusivity. Children choose sports such as swimming, lacrosse, tennis, orienteering, golf, badminton, rugby, cricket, athletics, fitness training /cross-country, hockey, basketball, table tennis, dance, fencing, global soccer and cheerleading. Clubs are open to both boys and girls. We host a number of sport camps in the School holidays such as rugby, football, hockey and cricket.
Tournaments, Competitions, Tours and Links
Beechwood Park pupils participate in intra-school, inter-school, regional and national tournaments. Sports trips and tours are organised, ranging from watching premier sporting events to a cricket tour to Barbados. All Middle and Senior pupils participate in the House Matches (e.g. rugby, netball, orienteering), Sports Days and Swimming Galas.
Pupils represent Beechwood Park at an ever-increasing number of district, regional and national events where we have had a wonderful success rate. Some of the events are listed below:
IAPS Swimming Finals
National Schools Rugby Tournament
IAPS Netball Finals
ESSA Primary and Secondary Relay Swimming Finals
IAPS Athletics Finals
IAPS Hockey Finals
Regional Primary Individual Swimming Championships
IAPS Badminton Championships
ISFA Football Herts and Middlesex Tournament
IGSA Junior Golf Open
Herts County Schools Cross Country Championships
IAPS Football National Sixes
Schools Aquathlon Championships
National Prep Schools Cross Country Championships
Herts Schools Cricket County Cup
District/County Table Tennis Championships
British Schools Orienteering Championships
British Cheerleading Association’s Southern Schools’ Competition
District/County Kwik Cricket Finals
Club, County and Academy Links
We have a very active link with our local Premiership rugby club Saracens which includes training sessions, taking part in the Guard of Honour at Saracens matches and hosting a Saracens rugby camp. In the past we have offered our facilities to Luton Town Football Academy who play their weekend matches at Beechwood Park and also to Hertfordshire U13 cricket squad who use us as a training basis. We are also a corporate partner of St Albans Hockey Club and have the pleasure of having one of their 1st team players as a teacher at Beechwood Park. CoStA swim club provide a weekly swimming training session in our pool for our elite swimmers. We are currently developing links with Redbourn and Berkhamsted Cricket Clubs.
We give great value to providing pathways for our elite athletes. As well as being able to represent Beechwood Park in School events such as those listed above, pupils are also entered into individual competitions such as
ISFA U13 Regional Football Trials
U11 and U13 District Football Trials
Herts County Junior Badminton Squad
ISFRC Regional Rugby Trials
Primary and Secondary District Swimming Trials
Senior School Scholarships
The School supports all pupils applying for sports scholarships and we enjoy an excellent success rate with children recently gaining scholarships at Berkhamsted, Abbots Hill and Haileybury.
And there's no need for multi-talented pupils to have to choose between music and sport - the two departments make a point of working harmoniously together... The Good Schools Guide, 2017