Sport plays a fundamental role in life at St Ives
Sport is an integral part of our curriculum. We know that regular sporting participation is vital for good health, general well-being and physical development. It also helps pupils develop confidence and social skills through teamwork and individual activities, as well as an understanding of rules and fair play. Our aim is for our pupils to leave St Ives with a lifelong love of sport.
The school has two full-size tennis and netball courts, a grass athletics track, a cross country circuit, a grass hockey pitch and a sports hall on site. Additionally, we have access to a 25m swimming pool that all pupils from Reception to Year 6 use all year round.
Children in Nursery to Year 2 learn the fundamental skills which promote physical literacy. Lessons are skills based and develop agility, balance and co-ordination so that pupils can move efficiently as they enter move into the Prep School. All PE lessons are led by a PE specialist, with pupils enjoying an hour of PE a week as well as weekly swimming lessons all year round, led by two swimming specialist teachers, at no extra cost.
Lessons become more sports-specific in the Prep School but still focus on the acquisition and development of transferable skills. This approach cultivates excellence but also encourages breadth of sporting experience. Our pupils take part in netball, hockey, football, tennis, cricket, cross country, fitness, gymnastics, pop lacrosse, rounders and dance. Pupils
have 2 hours of PE a week, as well as their weekly swimming lessons.
All pupils from Year 2 upwards take part in termly Inter-House sports competitions for hockey, netball, swimming, cross country, cricket and rounders as part of the house system. Inter-House events culminate with the ever-popular Sports Day in the summer term. These events give every child the opportunity to represent their house and experience competition in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. House Captains really take ownership of these events, organising teams, leading warm-ups and inspiring and encouraging our younger pupils.
St Ives offers lunchtime clubs where pupils have the extra opportunity to play sport and prepare for fixtures. Clubs are inclusive and all pupils are encouraged to attend. In addition to this many clubs are offered before or after school, with specialist teachers and coaches, including tennis, cricket, golf, judo and ballet.
Over the years, St Ives has developed an excellent reputation for competitive sport and we pride ourselves on the sporting achievements of our pupils. Every pupil in Years 3-6 will have the opportunity to represent their school in Inter-School matches. Pupils in Year 2 also have occasional sports fixtures including swimming galas, cross country and athletics events – the emphasis being on having fun. At the highest level, St Ives enters IAPS competitions, regional tournaments and galas where pupils will be selected for teams.
Due to current Covid restrictions, we are currently unable to play competitive sport against other schools, but are using the time to expand the curriculum and try things new things. This term, children have enjoyed fitness challenges, hockey on astroturf at a local sports centre, dance videos, indoor bowls tournaments, orienteering competitions and the IAPs Virtual Championships, as our usual pre-school sports clubs.
Pre-Prep: Children from Reception to Year 2, have weekly swimming lessons with the school's own qualified and highly experienced swimming teachers. Children have lessons all year round with various highlights throughout the year, such as the Pre-Prep Swimming Gala and the occasional U7 gala against other schools. In lessons, children learn the basics for good stroke technique as well as developing all-important water confidence. Many of the fundamental skills are learnt through fun games and challenges. Learning to swim in the Pre-Prep is not all about speed. As well as developing good technique we want our children to be safe, happy and confident in the water.
Seniors: Swimming goes from strength to strength in the Seniors, as children continue to have weekly lessons all year. We continue to work on stroke technique as well as introducing water skills such as diving, relays, synchronised swimming and water polo. Children have the opportunity to achieve badges and of course work towards the big Inter-House gala in the second term. No child should leave St Ives unable to swim but rather with water confidence and a life-long love of swimming.
Squad: For those pupils who really take to the water, we offer weekly training as part of our Swimming Squad. These swimmers train incredibly hard and work towards Inter-Schools galas, Regional and National events. St Ives has seen much success in the pool in the last few years; two highlights being 4th in the Small Schools Relay at the IAPS National Finals (2019) and qualifying for the A-Final at the ESSA National Finals for Primary Schools (2019).
Tennis is a very popular extra-curricular activity at St Ives with over half of our children taking tennis lessons. Tennis is taught by our resident coach, Julia Bowker, an LTA Accredited and PTR Qualified coach.
As a Junior, Julia represented her county regionally and nationally and has been involved with the coaching of adults and juniors since she was 16. Julia joined St Ives in September 2019 and is already proving incredibly popular with pupils. She is re-energising the tennis curriculum through her belief in making tennis lessons as fun and interactive as possible. Julia believes that when a child is happy, they develop confidence, which in turn that helps them grow into a great tennis player!
Tennis lessons are for children in Nursery up to Year 6.