Meet the sports di­rec­tor

Is di­rec­tor of sports at Barfield School. Here he talks about his love of all things sport and how im­por­tant it is to a child’s devel­op­ment

Surrey Life - - Education - Ray Tay­lor

How did you get into teach­ing sport? When I left school I was ac­cepted as an ap­pren­tice in the Royal Sig­nals. It was my dream, but it was also hard won. I was ini­tially told that I would never make it and it took per­se­ver­ance and hard work to change my su­per­vi­sor’s mind: I ended up be­ing awarded best all round ap­pren­tice and served 11 years across the world. The ex­pe­ri­ence taught me first­hand that you should never let any­one tell you that you aren’t good enough.

In the army I trained as a Phys­i­cal Train­ing In­struc­tor (PT) and I used the above mantra with my troops, help­ing any­one strug­gling and in­cor­po­rat­ing them back into the team. My ethos was all about build­ing con­fi­dence and de­vel­op­ing skills. Plan­ning and or­gan­i­sa­tion were at the core of my role in the army and I have al­ways been pas­sion­ate about be­ing out­side and hav­ing fun – one of the most im­por­tant parts of teach­ing sports – so it felt like a nat­u­ral next step.

How of­ten do pupils at your school take part in sport and what sports are avail­able? From Year 3 up­wards, our chil­dren have the op­por­tu­nity to take part in sport ev­ery day. They train and par­tic­i­pate in a huge va­ri­ety of sports, such as: Foot­ball, Net­ball, Hockey, Cricket, Tag Rugby, Ath­let­ics, Triathalons, Aquathons and Rounders. I never want to see chil­dren left out of school teams and so all pupils rep­re­sent the school and their Houses. They also swim at least once a week and have an ex­cel­lent range of ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties. Our younger pupils also swim once a week and take part in two to three hours of spe­cial­ist sport coach­ing.

How does sport play a role in chil­dren’s devel­op­ment? For me it is all about build­ing con­fi­dence and self-es­teem, as well as keep­ing phys­i­cally and men­tally fit. I also feel it em­pow­ers chil­dren. It is why I love teach­ing swim­ming. You see chil­dren who are pet­ri­fied of water grow in con­fi­dence and noth­ing can beat the beam­ing smile when they even­tu­ally swim

Barfield School, Guild­ford Road, Run­fold, Farn­ham, GU10 1PB Tel: 01252 782271 Web: barfield­school. com

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