Alison Scott, Joint Head of PE
In our latest blog, Alison Scott, Joint Head of PE, reveals how SGGS are safely resuming a number of extra-curricular clubs after half-term.
Over to Alison...
For those of us who love team sports, being stuck inside during lockdown was a very challenging time. Even since being able to return to social settings, sport represents a different experience of interacting and bonding that is missed when taken away. This is true of all ages, but especially in school during lower years. Sport is a fundamental way many students make friends outside of their regular houses and groups, forging strong friendships beyond those made during lessons.
We are absolutely thrilled therefore to be gearing up for the return of many extra-curricular clubs and activities after half-term. Like the rest of school, this will be conducted quite differently to how things were before, but we are still very excited to be able to resume sporting activities safely. We are set to kick-off from Monday 2nd November and have already begun proceedings with the Sport Captain assembly yesterday. This prestigious event gets everyone excited to get going with sports again and, for the first time ever, we have announced a whole school sports captain from Year 11 (KS4).
Junior Dance (Years 7, 8 and 9) will take place on Mondays, Badminton will be played on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Basketball on Wednesdays, with Senior Dance taking place on Fridays. Protocols are in place to avoid mixed bubbles and as such, there will be a week A and week B timetable implemented. Due to lessons happening before and after lunch there will be cleaning required which of course takes some time to do thoroughly. This does mean less sessions being available than students will be used to historically, but it is a step in the right direction and offers every girl the chance to resume the sports they love.
Junior Dance will continue to be run by the Senior Dance students (Year 12), who have remained in contact throughout lockdown and provided a plethora of fantastic dance tutorial videos, filmed from home and added to Microsoft Teams. They have been planning for a return in person for some time and are very excited to get up and running with their younger peers. Normally, they would be gearing up for a showcase evening at this time. This will not be happening in its normal format, but ideas are currently being shared on an alternative performance, so watch this space!
Netball and Hockey are two of our initial focuses for after school, simply due to the time of year. There are currently no fixtures planned but should this change during the Winter, these are the sports that will most likely be played – so we want to help SGGS students be prepared! The Under 16 Netball squad will continue to train on Mondays, with Year 8 and 9 (normally together, now separately) training on a Tuesday, with Year 7 training on a Thursday.
Hockey will still be available on Wednesdays both on Astroturf and indoors. We will continue to have joint use of the facilities at Stratford School, with strict rules in place that ensure we cannot arrive until their students have left for the day. We have a very good relationship with the PE department from Stratford School and we are liaising with them closely to ensure safety standards are shared and adhered to.
We are especially excited to announce that in addition to resuming activities, we will be offering some brand-new opportunities never seen at SGGS before. After half-term we will be launching Yoga, run by Mrs Pemberton for Year 9 and above on Mondays after school. Many of you will have followed different dance routines with Mrs Pemberton throughout lockdown and this is an exciting chance to learn another form of exercise, designed to build your strength and flexibility as well as focus your body and mind.
Patience and persistence
It is no secret that many of the girls at SGGS are competitive sports enthusiasts and have been desperate to play again. Despite this, I have been incredibly impressed with the mature attitude and understanding of the situation they have collectively shown. Whilst they have been keen to know when they might be able to resume sports, they have all understood that this could only happen when safe to do so and handled in the correct manner. We have all appreciated their patience and the space they have given us as a department to put the measures in place that now makes resuming a possibility.
Finally, it gives me great pleasure to say, welcome back to extra-curricular clubs at SGGS!