At Bedales, students benefit from the freedom to create a varied and engaging curriculum, which also enables us to cater for individual interests.

We want students to:

  • Develop the competence and confidence to enjoy and succeed in a wide range of sports and physical activity both in and out of school
  • Foster a lifelong passion for sport and to be aware of the benefits of an active and healthy lifestyle
  • Learn how to be effective in competitive, creative and challenging situations as an individual and as a team
  • Develop personal, social and emotional skills including concepts of fairness, responsibility and commitment

We compete in national and regional competitions and take great care to produce a fixture list that supports our aims and provides the best learning experience for our students. We do not promote a ‘win at all costs’ mentality, more a desire to create a positive, engaging and most importantly, an enjoyable sporting environment.

Students are encouraged to gain representative honours and elite athletes enjoy extensive support from the Department.

Sport at Bedales

Bedales Senior Sport Curriculum

The major sports at Bedales include Hockey, Tennis, Netball and Football.  Each of these sports has a ‘Head of Sport’ who is responsible for creating a pathway for talent development and participation across the three schools. The major sports are complimented with a strong focus on basketball and in the summer term cricket, swimming, athletics and rounders. Students are encouraged to exercise and be physically active and have access to a huge variety of activities that range from fencing to Zumba.

Students are able to make full use of excellent sporting facilities at the school, these include a full size astro-turf, swimming pool, floodlit tennis/netball courts, large sports hall and extensive playing fields with a picturesque cricket pitch, fitness studio and well equipped multi-gym.  

In Block 3 students have three double lessons per week, Blocks 4 and 5 have two double periods and and 6.1 and 6.2 have one double period. There is also the opportunity for students to bolster their timetable with lunchtime and after school activities and training sessions. The opportunity for additional sport remains with the students throughout their time at Bedales.

  • Blocks 3 and 4 (Years 9 and 10)
  • Blocks 4 and 5 (Years 10 and 11)
  • Block 5 and Sixth Form (Years 11, 12 and 13)

Sport is a core curriculum subject which is taught in single sex groups by specialist sports staff within the timetable. Block 3 students have three double periods per week and Block 4 have two double periods per week, with two compulsory sports lessons and the other two can be either Sport or Outdoor Work. These take place in the afternoon and this is when team training takes place for our major sports. Our aim is to develop successful teams and still allow for maximum participation.

BAC Sports Science

In September 2018, Bedales introduced a new Bedales Assessed Course (BAC) in Sports Science. Sport is an important part of Bedalian life, and the BAC in Sports Science is not only about physical endeavour but also intellectual achievement and rigour.

Students will learn the structures and functions of body systems and apply this knowledge to sport, develop knowledge of movement analysis (levers, planes of movement), understand short and long term effects of exercise and will learn to define aerobic and anaerobic exercise. They will be motivated to set goals, learn about stress management techniques and mental preparation. Students will also gain understanding about diet and nutrition and the benefits of sport to health, fitness and wellbeing. Practical performance in two activity areas and an in-depth analysis of one these areas will constitute 40% of the overall marks.

The BAC in Sports Science aligns with the Bedalian ethos of doing and making, instilling independent thought and promoting initiative, creativity and appreciation of the beautiful.

Course content

Applied Anatomy and Physiology 20% Physical training, health wellbeing and fitness 20%

Skill Acquisition & Sport Psychology

20% Practical Activity Assessment x2 30%
    Analysis and Evaluation of Performance 10%

Assessment method

Applied Anatomy and Physiology 
Physical training, health, wellbeing and fitness Reflective journal
Skill Acquisition and Sport Psychology Exam
Practical Activity Assessment x2 Live performance, video
Analysis and Evaluation of Performance Synoptic interview

Block 5 pupils have two double lessons per week and one of these can be Outdoor Work.  Sixth Form pupils have one compulsory sports lesson per week and they must choose one more lesson of either Sport or Outdoor Work during an afternoon. Senior teams train together and are made up of both Block 5 and Sixth Form pupils. They compete very well against local schools each week and we strive for excellence. We also have a broad range of sports options for those who are not in the school teams such as Zumba, fencing, multi-gym, badminton, swimming and dance.

Both girls and boys teams for netball, hockey, rugby, football and tennis are also competing in local, county and national competitions throughout the year and competing very well.  We encourage our pupils to play sport outside of school and a number of them play for local clubs and also represent the county in a number of sports.

Our extensive campus and fantastic facilities enable us to offer superb training facilities for teams as well as a broad range of sports.

Sport (BTEC Level 3 Diploma)

From September 2020, students can take Sport (BTEC Level 3 Diploma) as one of their Sixth Form choices. The course provides an introduction to the sport and active leisure sector by developing a broad range of knowledge and skills in a variety of sport related areas. BTECs are made up of a number of units that have a practical focus with supporting knowledge and understanding that is assessed through on-going coursework. This allows students to build their qualification in stages and take responsibility for their own learning by planning their work, completing research and reviewing their progress under the supervision of departmental staff.

The course has flexibility to allow students to specialise in certain areas, such as performance and coaching, or to complete differing levels with corresponding credit point values. BTECs can be taken alongside traditional A Levels and earn equivalent UCAS points. Universities and colleges value the independent study skills required by students along with the organisation, time management, communication and research skills that are also highly thought of by employers.

Encouraging lifelong interest in sport
"Although we are keen to find something enjoyable for all of our students, I like to think that we can also give our excellent athletes what they need from us. We work hard to find ways of challenging them that are meaningful and which they will appreciate."

Read Bedales Director of Sport Spencer Leach's blog post, 'Encouraging lifelong interest in sport'.

Head of Department: Spencer Leach