It is crucial that pupils enjoy the sports they play in order to develop key skills that will help them in all aspects of a Bradfield education. Committing to a sport and dedicating time to it are two traits that our pupils often utilise in the classroom as well.
Pupils in positions of leadership within the school, and those who achieve the top grades, are invariably pupils who have played sport to a high level or have excelled in another area of co-curricular life, be it music, drama or another pursuit.
We want more pupils to take up leadership positions. That is why we have rethought the way we coach our sports.
Our coaches are now creating the structure of their session for the pupils to be involved in running it as much as possible, to become good communicators and good leaders. Coaches will communicate less so that pupils can communicate more. Coaches will organise less in order for pupils to organise more.
We will aim for every pupil in every session to have opportunities to take on leadership roles and responsibilities. That can be anything from having pupils set up a small grid to use as part of a warm-up right through to pupils leading elements of the sessions or videoing training and leading an analytics session.
More than encouraging pupils to become good leaders and good communicators, we want to provide them with new opportunities to develop into well-rounded young adults and that is why we have an extensive programme of mixed-gender sports.
When you educate in a mixed-gender setting it makes sense for as much of your sporting offering as possible also be in a mixed-gender setting.
Our pupils are flourishing across a range of sports. Our badminton team is one of the few schools that plays mixed-gender competitive fixtures. Our senior mixed doubles tennis team reached the national finals of their cup competition and in rifle shooting last year, two boys and three girls represented Great Britain on international tours following great success for the College. We hope the recent introduction of a girls’ golf team will pave the way for golf to join the list of mixed-gender team sports very soon.
It is not just in competitive sport that we are encouraging pupils to take on more responsibility; we are expanding our recreational sport opportunities in a way which will enable pupils to do this.