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Ofsted says state pupils denied competitive sport

Baroness Sue Campbell, the chair of the Youth Sport Trust, says physical education and sport in schools must be prioritised. Quoted in The Guardian, in January this year, she makes the compelling case for more sport, for all ages.

At Rendcomb, our pupils range in age from 3-18; some are natural athletes, for whom hand-eye co-ordination is second nature and whose natural pace is a run. Other pupils’ talents lie in different directions; Art, Music,Drama or Academic endeavours.

But, all of our students take an active part in regular sport and all get to be on a team and represent the school. Most of our students consider tertiary education as a next step and while the curriculum is academically focused, there is plenty of time set aside for sport and recreation too, with the aim of making our students, well rounded, life-long adherents to sport and exercise. Traditional team games (Rugby, Hockey, Lacrosse,Cricket and Tennis) now sit alongside Basketball, Badminton and Cross Country running, with more traditional as well as modern sports under consideration. The Cotswold hills which surround Rendcomb add beauty to the sporting experience, and our students are committed and enthusiastic.

Director of Sport,William Mbanga says: “The philosophy behind our sports programme is to engage the youngest pupils to have fun through sport, to encourage participation and skill development with the 12-14 age group, recognise the sporting aspirations of the 14-16s and train to win for the 16-18’s. Sport teaches us life-long lessons.

“Co-operation, teamwork and the discipline of training are all valuable.But as all competitive sports people know, sport involves more losing than winning. And sometimes the decisions are not fair, so the most important life lessons are giving one’s very best in every circumstance and learning to win or lose with dignity. Every student should experience success and feel connected to each other, their teachers and the School.

“I’ve loved my first year here and am massively excited by the ambition and enthusiasm of the Head and Governors to drive forward the upgrade/development of our infrastructure to facilitate teaching/coaching and learning in modern surrounds. I enjoy my easy 12 minute commute from Cheltenham and even catch the school bus a few days a week!”

"Speaking selfishly from a PE teaching perspective, as a department we aim to deliver an extensive and stimulating programme of study at GCSE, AS and A level, that provide opportunities for students to experience a variety of sports activities and provide opportunities for them to develop an interest and expertise in the sporting industry, whether that be in education, performing, officiating and/or administration. The course has breadth and depth of subject areas and dovetails well with a range of subjects, notably Biology, Geography, Business Studies and Psychology.”

Sport, Art, Music, Drama, Public Speaking, Information and Design Technology and the Outdoor Education Programme provide countless opportunities for enjoyment, success and challenge. With new tennis courts being built over the Summer term and an ambitious development plan for a new indoor swimming pool and sports complex, along with the creation of additional outdoor sports pitches, the future is exciting up at Rendcomb!