Independent School Parent
Sporting Achievement SHERBORNE PREP
The Dorset school’s bespoke all-inclusive approach to teaching sport equips pupils with a habit and mindset they can take with them through life
Sport plays an important role in life at Sherborne Prep for all its pupils. The spirit that pupils approach sport with and the way they seize all of the opportunities on offer is central to all that is great about the school.
“Winning the ISOTY 2021 Award for Sporting Achievement has meant such a lot to us as a whole school,” says Head Natalie Bone. “We’re extremely proud of our FMS UK partnership, and have developed and redefined our physical education programme to ensure every child creates their own sporting habit for life.”
Sport is far more about having fun and building a lifelong desire to participate than ‘the final score’ at Sherborne Prep. The sports department wanted to design and deliver a programme that would equip pupils with the right physical, tactical and technical tool kit to take a positive attitude and create a sporting habit for life. This equips them with the skills and understanding to improve their own functional movement, so that they can access all areas of the school’s sporting curriculum.
Sherborne Prep screens its pupils regularly throughout the year and provides them with a personalised set of exercises that contains an individualised movement skills development plan connected to posture, breathing and the wider benefits of physical wellness in the classroom.
Sherborne is also advocating schools take a fresh look at fixture programmes to move away from the gender bias and stereotypes in evidence within co-educational settings. The pupils do enjoy and relish the chance to play with their friends, and of course, the balance of some single sex sessions is important.
That said, how many other departments or aspects of school life separate the girls and boys as clearly as sport?
As a school, it’s fully committed to an inclusive approach, with all pupils regularly representing the school. Sherborne’s policy ensures game time for all and captains are rotated to develop leadership opportunities. Running alongside this approach is a real layer of success, which in the last year alone includes regional and national recognition in major sports (several trophies are in the bag already this year) and a host of pupils are involved in regional pathways for hockey, netball and cricket. Pupils are also succeeding on a regional and national level in the individual sports including horse riding, tennis, gymnastics and swimming. The school has two Team GB representatives in skiing and sailing respectively, and pupils regularly gain senior-school sport scholarships.
This is an exciting time for the school and the sports department. Post-merger with Sherborne School, the collaboration across the two schools is developing fast, with even greater access to first-class facilities and coaching with a new sports hall under construction. The prep school is also working hard to continue growing its community links. It has positive relationships with local karate, hockey, cricket and swimming clubs, and is now building plans with the local tennis and golf clubs with the fundamental aim of providing its pupils with an even richer and broader sporting experience. sherborneprep.org
“WINNING THE ISOTY 2021 AWARD FOR SPORTING ACHIEVEMENT has meant such a lot to us as a whole school. WE’RE EXTREMELY PROUD OF OUR FMS UK PARTNERSHIP”