Ysgol Dewi Sant, in St Davids has completely overhauled
facilities, while developing a new approach to PE and school sport,
ensuring that alongside achieving academically, youngsters within
its local community are developing the right habits to go on and
live a full, active and healthy life.
Working with local primary schools and extending its offerings
to members of the local community, the school has successfully
created a local ethos promoting the benefits of healthy and
balanced lifestyles, meaning that every child is gaining the
opportunity to a better quality of life.
Ysgol Dewi Sant's overhaul began with the opening of a multi-use
sports hall and fitness centre at the school, but it has been the
PE department's commitment to providing different types of
opportunities to suit every child that has seen more and more young
people getting hooked on being active.
Working with local clubs and organisations has allowed the
school to introduce new sports and activities both within lesson
time and after school. Using the area's natural resources for
example, pupils have become regulars at local coasteering, surfing,
kayaking and surf-lifesaving clubs.
Transportation is now also offered between the school and a
number of community clubs and venues, allowing many more to join in
these after school opportunities.
Importantly at Ysgol Dewi Sant every child is given the
opportunity to enjoy physical activity, both through the wide
variety of choice, and also through support in achieving their own
personalised goals. Those who have become disengaged
have the opportunity to attend a specialised programme giving them
added support to find a way back into sport.
And the effort doesn't end with the school's pupils. The
new leisure facilities and fitness centre now provide out of school
activities for the surrounding community. The secondary
school also works tirelessly with the area's primary schools,
supporting the development of healthy habits from a young age and
creating a stable environment for youngsters to continue enjoying
sports when moving from primary to secondary school.
Sport Wales Senior Officer, Shana Thomas comments:
"To be healthy and go on and get the most out of life, children
need to have developed active habits. Ysgol Dewi Sant is
leading the way, in terms of how they promote and provide
opportunities for their pupils to develop these habits.
"Not only have they undertaken huge changes to their facilities
to reflect demand, but they have developed positive relationships
with local primary schools and community clubs to ensure that
enjoyable and comfortable environments have been created for all
children to experience sport.
"We saw Ysgol Dewi Sant refining these best practices during
their ActiveMarc Cymru application, which I am delighted to say
they have achieved for 2013/2014.
"This approach is obviously paying dividends, the school's
results in the 2013 Sport Wales School Sport Survey were extremely
encouraging and highlighted how more and more youngsters are
getting hooked on sport as a consequence of the new
Ysgol Dewi Sant Senior Teacher, Rachael Thomas adds:
"We want our pupils to become physically literate. We want
them to enjoy leading healthy active lives as adults.
"We therefore see it as our duty to create an environment where
they can start to enjoy sport and develop a level of competency
which suits them, whether that is playing competitively for their
county or having the confidence to simply try new sports
"Employing our 5 x 60 officer, Amanda John, to work at the
school as well as in the feeder primaries has had a huge impact
upon the efficiency and effective process of a child's transition.
Amanda's work has been instrumental in allowing us to further
develop our links with community clubs and organisations which
allow us to provide new activities and sports within our own
offerings. It has also helped our pupils in venturing beyond
the school gates to be active, joining local clubs, which has many
benefits in its own right."