2 December 2014

Hop, skip and jumping for joy as schools achieve sports awards

Schools across the city are celebrating next week after achieving Bronze, Silver and Gold levels in a national sports award scheme.

The School Games Mark was launched nationally by the Government in the Olympic Year of 2012. A total of 29 schools achieved the Schools Games Mark this year, which is 40 per cent of all schools in the city. This is a rise from just four percent in the year of 2012 to 2013.

The scheme praises schools for sporting excellence and enthusiasm. To gain the School Games Mark, schools have to demonstrate they are offering pupils a range of sporting opportunities including competitions, an annual school sports day and encouraging sports leadership among young people.

All of the successful schools have been invited to receive their awards from the Mayor at Brighton Town Hall, on Wednesday 10 December, from 2 to 4pm. Each school has been invited to send one member of staff and two pupils to the event.

Councillor Geoffrey Bowden, Chair of the Economic Development and Culture Committee, said: “The level of participation in the School Games Mark shows the dedication of all those delivering sports to pupils in our city. The physical benefits of a fit and healthy start in life cannot be underestimated. Taking part in sports also helps boost personal confidence and social skills. I would like to congratulate all the schools concerned for gaining this achievement and encourage others to look into signing up next year.”

Carden Primary School – Gold Level

Rachel Sheppard is a PE teacher at Carden Primary School and has been actively involved in the efforts to attain the highest level of the School Games Mark.

Rachel explained: “We are really proud to be part of the School Games Mark and especially of gaining the Gold Level.

“This is all about giving our children more experience and helping them be fit for life as much as it is about games in school. The benefits of active healthy sporty children are immense.

“We have been working to achieve the School Games Mark for the last three years. It’s been on ongoing project for us because we realise the scheme is the way forward for our sports and helps us to offer a wide range of opportunities.

“For the first time this June, we had a Sports Week rather than a Sports Day. Everyone took part across the school. We included a range of minority sports, such as fencing, outdoor pursuits and martial arts, alongside the traditional sports, such as football, athletics and tag rugby. Different things suit different children and there was a great range of activities to try all week. We have decided to make this an annual event.

“We also have an extensive range of after school clubs and we organise competitions, both in school and with other schools. We encourage all our pupils to take part in these activities. The extras available help us to add to the sports provision during the school day and the children really enjoy what is on offer. Physical education has lots of benefits and, in combination with other areas of the curriculum, can have a big positive impact on all pupils.”

Woodingdean Primary School – Bronze Level

Lee Argent is PE Co-ordinator for Woodingdean Primary School and has led the school’s successful first attempt to gain the Games Mark.

Lee said: “This is the first year we have applied for the Games Mark so the highest Level we can gain is Bronze, which we are delighted to have been awarded. We’re very proud of our school sports and believe we will gain Gold Level as we move through the awards process year on year.

“At Woodingdean Primary we have variety and sporting opportunity across all year groups. We were all pleased to see our seven a side football win on penalties in the city-wide GEERTS shield competition last year and our quick cricket team come top too. It’s not all about winning though. While we celebrate success, we also encourage participation. More than 70 pupils are part of the athletics and football clubs.

“We work closely with the Deans Leisure Centre and Deans Sports Partnership to add on to what we offer in school. We also like to go out into the city and last year took part in beach volleyball, beach rugby and beach football at the Yellowave centre on the seafront.

“Our links with the community are strong and add to our message that sport is fun. In May, parents from our school’s PTFA worked with the Deans Sports Partnership to organise a Torch Run to celebrate the Commonwealth Games. Five local schools took part, involving thousands of children, and the finish line was on our field where our pupils ran together with pupils from our neighbours Downs View special school. It was an amazing day.” 

“We encourage children to promote their passion for sports to their peers. We have a Sports Captain scheme which we have been running for a decade. At the start of each school year, about half a dozen Year Six pupils are chosen to be our Sports Captains and represent our school internally and externally. We aim to choose at least one captain who, although not a sporting high flyer, is a good ambassador.  We want our pupils to see you do not have to be the best, the one who always wins, to enjoy and benefit from sport. It’s about everyone being the best they can be.”

More information:

OfSTED use the School Games Mark as part of their inspection framework and school with the award can use the logo on the school website and letterheads.

Full list of schools with the Schools Games Mark:

School Name

2013/14 Level Awarded

Balfour Primary School Silver
Blatchington Mill School and Sixth Form College Bronze
Carden Primary School Gold
City College Brighton and Hove Bronze
Coldean Primary School Silver
Dorothy Stringer School Silver
Downs Junior School Bronze
Elm Grove Primary School Silver
Goldstone Primary School Bronze
Hangleton Junior School Bronze
Hertford Junior School Bronze
Hove Park School and Sixth Form Centre Bronze
Middle Street Primary School Gold
Our Lady of Lourdes RC School Bronze
Patcham Junior School Bronze
Portslade Aldridge Community Academy Bronze
Queen's Park Primary School Silver
Rudyard Kipling Primary School Bronze
Saltdean Primary School Bronze
St Andrew's CofE (Aided) Primary School Bronze
St Joseph's Catholic Primary School Silver
St Luke's Primary School Bronze
St Martin's CofE Primary School Bronze
St Mary's Catholic Primary School Silver
Varndean School Bronze