Our work in primary schools during 2023

February 20, 2024

In another of our regular look backs to 2023 Jeremy Frith reviews our work in Primary Schools.

Our work with primary schools has become an established service over recent years and continues to go from strength to strength. I am incredibly grateful to our team of PE & Sport Development Officers and their colleagues from within our member sports that work with us and schools to deliver the programme.

Whilst structurally the programme continues as per previous years, we are in a constant state of fine tuning and adding pieces to compliment the core part of our service.

This year we have completed a pilot in consultation with the Educational Psychology Service, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy Services to develop a programme of motor skill interventions. Whilst not a new piece of work to the Commission, we have worked hard to identify and implement a validated programme of identification, intervention, ongoing support and onward referral to other services.

These pilots have been positively referenced by a number of professionals and within Ofsted inspections as areas of excellent practice and we are continuing to roll them out across schools.

Other areas of development have been around the work of Outdoor and Adventure Sports Development Officer Alan Jenner who has continued to evolve our beach visits. These have again gone well and, thanks to some additional private funding, will now be expanded to include water entry for year 4s.

With additional funding from Education through the cultural enrichment programme, we were also able to introduce our Playpals scheme. The scheme looks to support Year 2 children developing a better understanding of how to use their school environment better and to play more effectively (safely, creatively and cooperatively).

The business-as-usual work continues with more significant progress supporting vulnerable children and those not accessing sport in the community. Overall, the importance of our officers being based in school and in a position to form positive and potentially transformative relationships with children and professionals supporting them, is key to the success of our service. 

The Specsavers Youth Games had a record year (again) with more children and sports participating than ever before. The position our officers hold in schools and their ability to reach ever more children within our community has been key to that success. We were also delighted that our relationship and work with St Anne’s has evolved to the point that children from Alderney also participated, for the first time, in the Specsavers Youth Games.

We were again blessed with the fantastic support of our placement students for the 2022/23 year. Lauren Miller from Bournemouth University and Teya Sheppard from University of Bath did a fantastic job across a number of programmes but their work in schools was exceptionally well-received. Teya Sheppard went on to receive a Highly Commended award from Bath for her placement, as well as 2nd prize in the University’s academic poster presentations which covered the work of GSC.

Looking forwards to 2024, we will be working closely with colleagues in education, schools and our member sports through the development of a new curriculum entitlement document. This work began in October and will continue in advance of being ‘live’ for September 2025.

My sincere thanks to everyone involved particularly to those individuals and organisations who support the match funding of the Education grant we receive who make all of this possible.

You can read our full Review of 2023 here