Sports Fixtures Selection Approach
At Laleham we are proud of our Sporting Success! We count this in two ways:
Participation We aim to offer every child the opportunity to experience competitive sport through various levels of competition.
We believe that performing well inspires others to engage with sport, and teaches our children the value of hard work and being prepared. Whether we win or lose, we want to learn from our experience and know that we have enabled every child to perform to their potential.
Every child is offered at least three opportunities through the school year to represent their House in Level 1 (intra school) competition. The type of competitions is linked to the PE curriculum, reflecting the age and ability of the children and are delivered during curriculum time.
We aim to offer most children in UKS2, and some in LKS2, the opportunity to represent our school in Level 2 (inter school) competitions. These events are delivered at three levels: aspire, inspire and higher and may involve skills festivals, friendly matches, league and cup fixtures and tournaments. We try to offer as broad a range of opportunities as possible. In line with our vision of participation and performance, we often look to enter at least two teams in competition where there is space, enabling us to develop our more able athletes whilst also allowing newer participants the opportunity to experience competition. The number and diversity of these fixtures does depend on other schools and organisations working with us. We are a member of the Spelthorne Primary Schools’ Sports Association (SPSSA) and our PE Lead and PE Assistant regularly attend meetings. As a school, we commit to developing competitive opportunities in our borough by organising the annual cross country competition, the netball leagues and annual netball festivals and tournaments, as well as helping to deliver events such as the swimming gala and district sports. We also work with organisations such as British School Gymnastics Association, Chance to Shine and Surrey Cricket and London Schools Hockey.
Some of the L2 events act as qualifiers for county/regional/national finals. These finals are considered Level 3 competition and will usually involve our more able athletes. We will train hard to prepare our children to be able to perform at their best as they face a higher standard of competition.
The SPSSA traditionally run leagues for UKS2 boys football and girls football, mixed netball, mixed tag rugby, hockey, dodgeball, cricket and rounders. With the exception of netball, we are only able to enter one team in each of the leagues. Divisions are allocated based either on a ranking tournament or previous performance, and we are proud that our school is currently in division one for every sport. League matches give teams the opportunity to develop throughout a season and it is therefore important to select a fairly consistent team for league matches as the quality of play improves as more games are played. It allows children to return to training after a match, reflect on performance and tactics and work together to improve for the next fixture. We value this opportunity for children to work collaboratively and link this to their attitude in the wider curriculum, i.e. editing and improving a piece of writing.
Team and squad sizes are determined by the rules of the sport which means that not all children will be able to play league fixtures. This is why we work hard to include friendly fixtures and tournaments in our calendar. We work hard to prepare every child that represents the school to be able to perform at their best, delivering a large number of extra-curricular clubs. We use PE lessons to introduce children to some sports (e.g. Sportshall athletics, dodgeball and lacrosse); these lessons allow us to assess the performance levels of the children. Where possible, we will run at least one training session prior to a L2 event, in order for children to prepare.
When selecting children to represent the school, the appropriate staff member, consulting with relevant staff colleagues who know the children well, will always take several factors into consideration, including (but not limited to, or in order of preference): event rules around team numbers and make-up, gender, pupil premium, ability, type of event, commitment to training, social needs, behaviour (both at training, in PE lessons and in general), team balance. The decision of the school will be final; the nature of the factors that we will be considering mean that we are unable to share our reasoning in individual cases. Please trust that we know and value the children and are doing our absolute best to ensure they all get the opportunities that they need.
Representing our school is a privilege, not a right and we are proud of our school’s reputation for behaviour, performance on the pitch and sportsmanship. Our motto is, “We win with grace, we lose with grace and we always do our best.”
We currently inform parents that their child has been selected for a particular fixture once all the details have been agreed. We may work with the children prior to this in order to ensure that they are fully prepared, particularly for higher level team events. When trialling children for events, we believe it is important to be honest about the trial process and any decisions made. While we may not be able to inform every parent of every decision made, coaches will give feedback to the children and will work with the class teacher to support a child to accept decisions that may not go their way.
We recognise that some children will be disappointed when not selected and we ask for parent/carer support in helping children to be accepting. There are a finite number of places in a squad and that means not everyone is able to be included. We recognise that this may be quite a new experience for many of the children as during curriculum time everyone is always catered for. Please use this as an opportunity to support your child to develop acceptance and resilience as these are important life skills that are going to stand them in good stead moving forwards.