In line with the ethos of the school, sport at Bedales provides a different experience to what you might expect from a traditional school environment. 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 part of 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 able to make full use of excellent sporting facilities at the school, including a full-size astro-turf, swimming pool, floodlit tennis/netball courts, large sports hall, extensive playing fields, a picturesque cricket pitch, fitness studio and well-equipped multi-gym.
Students are encouraged to gain representative honours and elite athletes enjoy extensive support from the department.
What does the sports curriculum look like at Dunhurst?
The major sports are hockey, tennis, netball and football. These are complemented by a strong focus on swimming throughout the year, with both rugby and basketball taking place during the spring term and athletics, tennis and rounders in the summer.
There are also opportunities to experience a wide range of sports during the PE curriculum, such as gymnastics, badminton and lacrosse to name a few.
In order to achieve our aims, we place a large focus on enjoyment and engagement within the PE curriculum and the way we achieve this varies from pupil to pupil. For those who love most sports and will take any opportunity to be out on the sports field, there are countless opportunities to participate everyday, through PE and Games lessons, squad training sessions, fixtures and our rigorous activities programme. We do, however, also recognise that not all sports are for everyone. Whilst at a young age we believe pupils should experience a range of sports and activities, pushing themselves out of their comfort zone, we avoid forcing pupils into situations that could put them off a sport completely.
Aspire Sports Programme
Our ever evolving Aspire Sports programme gives though pupils who are truly passionate about sport and physical activity the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and immerse themselves in the world of sport. The programme includes visits to local universities and workshops with visiting athletes. Previous guests have included England rugby star Heather Fisher, Olympic hockey gold medallist Alex Danson and Old Bedalian England U18 hockey player Pippa Locke, to name a few.
Groups (Years 4-6)
In the primary years, pupils are exposed to a variety of sports. Through this, they are taught the basic skills required to participate, succeed and develop their confidence. PE is largely taught in mixed sex groups and often streamed by ability to allow for maximum progress for all skill levels. Pupils receive one double PE lesson per week, one double Games lesson and a team training session.
Blocks (Years 7 and 8)
As pupils reach senior school age, they are given more freedom to select the activities they participate in within the PE programme. Three pathways are offered - Competition, Individual and Be Active. Each pathway has a slightly different focus, as their name suggests.
Competition gives pupils the chance to be more competitive, often with a team sport. Individual will focus on sports such a swimming, badminton and table tennis. Be Active allows pupils to take part in some recreational sport, with the Fun Fitness unit being particularly popular.
The majority of our fixtures take place on a Wednesday afternoon. Although not compulsory, all pupils are encouraged to represent the school during their time at Dunhurst. We run multiple teams per year group, putting out 12-14 teams per week, to allow pupils to play at the level suited to them. Teams are well prepared for matches and competitions, with a weekly Games lesson and team training session. We regularly host tournaments and festivals as well as competing in regional and national competitions.
We have enjoyed various successes in recent years, including:
- 2016-17: U11 Football – regional ISFA champions, representing Hampshire at the national competition at St George’s Park
- 2017-18: U13 Cricket – unbeaten season
- 2018-19: U13 Football – unbeaten season, including three local tournament victories, IAPS plate winners, voted Hampshire School team of the year
- 2018-19: U13 Girls Hockey – Hampshire Champions
- 2018-19: U13 Boys Hockey – 4 wins from 4 on tour of Devon
- 2019-20: U13 Girls Hockey – unbeaten season
- 2019-20: U13 Football – unbeaten season for both A and B teams, including local tournament victory.
Our bi-annual sports tour programme for Blocks pupils has proved incredibly popular. These have been fantastic in kick starting a season and inspiring pupils, and also as a celebration towards the end of a term. It is a brilliant team building experience which pupils have thoroughly enjoyed. Recent tours have included hockey to Devon, netball to Liddington, football to East Sussex and the highly successful joint cricket tour to Dorset.
Whole School Events
To further promote enjoyment through sport and to recognise national occasions, the department regularly run whole school events. The Santa Run in the last week of the autumn term is always popular, and National School Sports Week in the summer term is packed full of inclusive events that also allow those more competitive individuals to flourish.