School Sport Survey: More sport & more enjoyment

Sports:

Watersports , Fitness

Location:

Llanelli

The 2013 School Sport Survey has brought about many changes within schools and communities across Wales.  Importantly because of the survey data these changes have been matched to what our children have been asking for.

 

The consequence of this is that we are hearing again and again how children are starting to feel more comfortable when taking part in sport and how overall enjoyment is rising; something that is pleasing children, parents, school staff and governors in Llanelli. 

 

Sioned Hancock, Ysgol Y Strade, Llanelli 

There's a sporting revolution going on at a school in Llanelli with pupils embracing sport like never before.

A shake up of old fashioned PE kit and giving pupils an increased say in school sport is getting children involved in sports like waterpolo, archery and judo. And what's more, it's improving confidence, self worth and whole host of other skills.

The findings of the 2013 Sport Wales School Sport Survey prompted the school's Head of Physical Education to make some changes.

Sioned Hancock approached the School Sports Council - which is made up of pupils - to help her devise ways to encourage more children to take part.

"It would be easy to do the survey and then just let it sit on the shelf," said Sioned. "But we wanted to build and develop."

One of the first things to change was the out-dated PE kit:

"It really needed modernising. We came up with 20 different options and the whole school voted and narrowed it down to three. The School Sports Council made the final decision.

"We have had really positive feedback. The girls are now pushing for leggings which we'll consider if it helps girls with confidence and body image."

The survey also identified a demand in the area for racquet sports and cycling that prompted Ysgol y Strade and the local primary schools to work together and focus on these sports, organising coaching and festivals.

Ysgol y Strade - and each of the local primary schools - also has their own individual targets and they meet up to discuss progress. The work has even been presented to Heads of PE across Carmarthenshire's secondary schools as well as the regional Sport & Leisure Physical Literacy steering group with the aim that other clusters may adopt a similar approach.

Responding to calls for more sporting role models, pupils have been to watch Wimbledon. Sporting legend Non Evans and Team GB waterpolo captain Craig Figes have also given inspirational talks. "We have even skyped Tanni Grey Thompson," says Sioned.

She underlines that the Sport Wales School Sport Survey is not just a set of results, but that it's making a real difference:

"There's more enthusiasm to take part in a wider range of sports. We saw huge numbers wanting to get involved in archery sessions - and pupils who wouldn't normally be engaged in sport.

"More pupils want to get involved in the School Sports Council - they see that it makes a difference and they want to help come up with ideas and make decisions.

"I've seen confidence levels improve among pupils involved in the School Sports Council as well improved behaviour and self worth, leadership and communication skills."

The School Sport Survey is set to gather the opinions of children right across Wales once again this spring. Sioned says Ysgol y Strade will definitely be getting involved:

"It's a great way to find out what's working well and what's not. It helps us as a school to keep building and keep developing."

And should other schools get involved? "Absolutely! If you want to make changes and you need to persuade the governors and your Headteacher, the survey is a really good tool. You have statistics to compare with other schools and that means you have evidence to back up your argument."

The 2015 School Sport Survey will be a great tool for identifying what changes are working particularly well and what areas we need to focus our efforts on in the next couple of years.  To ensure that the data is as robust and therefore useful as it can be, we need as many children as possible to be taking part.

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For more information on how to get involved in the 2015 survey, check out the School Sport Survey webpage