Sports challenges at home replace fixtures

Posted on 13th May 2020

With schools closed in the current lockdown, Bedales Prep, Dunhurst is offering its pupils a busy daily schedule of sport in addition to PE lessons at all ability levels, which includes a Challenge Tournament with other schools – including Prebendal, Westbourne House, Edgeborough, Clayesmore and Seaford - as an alternative to the weekly fixtures where Dunhurst would normally put out 16 or more teams. Pupils are set weekly challenges, such as the number of times they can throw and catch a ball against a wall in 30 seconds, with results published in a league table.

Dunhurst has its very own ‘Joe Wicks’ workout led by Director of Sport, Will Bray. Other weekly activities include ‘beat the teacher challenges’, skills challenges where pupils replicate a moment from sporting history, and garden athletics challenges. Recent examples include ping pong ball puddle jumping, agility relays, javelin throwing and the high jump – all adapted for the home.

These initiatives have proven popular with pupils, not only to keep them active which is essential to help boost their immune systems, but also to keep them connected with their teachers.

Remote subject teaching of lessons is also underway at Dunhurst with an adjusted timetable to break up computer time. An off-screen ‘Head, Hand, Heart’ lesson sees pupils doing something for the household, community or themselves. Giving to others and self-care have proved essential for self-esteem and self-efficacy. Pupils are given time to talk about their feelings during lockdown and encouraged to express themselves.

Dunhurst has adopted The Children’s Commissioner’s Digital 5 a day into its remote learning curriculum to strengthen and nurture pupils’ mental, physical and emotional health. Pupils are encouraged to consider the five things they will you do each day to support their mental health, such as taking the dog for a walk, or simply having some down-time with a book and a cup of tea.

Head of Dunhurst Colin Baty commented:

“We are passionate about keeping our community connected whilst we are apart. The teachers at Dunhurst are such a huge part in the lives of our pupils. They not only deliver an innovative curriculum, but the relationship between pupils and staff is key and very much valued. Together, they navigate growing up in the 21st century.”

“We have been hugely impressed with our pupils’ creativity and adaptability as they have engaged with our online learning. The sport and wellbeing activities are an important part of our balanced curriculum. They are providing pupils with valuable opportunities to exercise and make a positive contribution to life at home, and to be kind to themselves and others. At Dunhurst we definitely believe that healthy bodies mean healthy minds!”

Colin Baty | Will Bray | Dunhurst Sport | Dunhurst Wellbeing | Children's Commissioner Digital 5 a day