It has been another eventful and energetic half term for sport at Unsworth! Across each week, every class takes part in 2 x one hour PE sessions. This involves the children taking part in a variety of sporting activities including gymnastics, invasion games and dance.

This half term, the focus has been on our dance curriculum within Y3 and Y5 by working alongside two trained dance coaches from Qfirst Sports to help enhance our teaching and learning. The children worked on a variety of coordination activities, balancing techniques and singular dance moves. Over the weeks, the children were taught how to put the separate moves together into a dance sequence. They practised mirroring, keeping in time and exercised every muscle in their body through stretching and movement. From a teacher’s point of view, it enabled me to visualise teaching dance in a different way, either based on the arrangement of the children or time spent on different aspects of dance. It also created many opportunities for dialogue between myself and the coach which informed my assessments. The purpose of having trained coaches in school is firstly for the enhancement of the curriculum for the children so that they have further sporting opportunities that are engaging, energetic and fun, but also to enable class teachers to reflect on their own practice and create vital assessment opportunities.

For the past six weeks, YR and Y1 have taken part in a dance club on a Wednesday after school. The coach worked on basic balancing techniques, coordination and rhythm. They also practised mirroring different dance movements and were given the opportunity to take part in a dance circle. After watching various sessions, it was clear to see how the children’s confidence grew from week to week. Some children seemed reluctant to take part in certain aspects of dance, mainly performing for a small audience. By the last week, all children could confidently perform their dance sequence for each other. During play times, I also spotted some of the Y1 children practising their sequences for some of the older children. Great moves!

Our Y2 ping pong club, every Thursday with Mrs Darby, has also proved to be a great success! The children have been building the skills needed to play a basic ping pong game such as control and coordination. Mrs Darby will now be inviting Y4 to her ping pong sessions after the half term break.

This year, I have started a sports crew with a group of 8 children from Y5 and Y6. We have had a great start! The idea is that the children initiate their own ideas for a sports club aimed at younger children. We discussed as a group an agenda for the upcoming weeks and how we were going to advertise the club. The children created sports crew posters using pic collage and put them up around school. They have also been busy creating certificates and planning fun activities to deliver. The children have now prepared 3 sessions to deliver to their first group of children. Y3 will be the first group to take part, 10 children have shown a keen interest and will join the sports crew on the first Wednesday back after half term.

The netball team are an absolute credit to the school! They train each Tuesday night and show dedication and enthusiasm week after week. This half term, the focus has been on positioning and playing as many matches as possible. The girls have learnt how to rotate positions so that they become familiar with the rules for each player on the court. It was a shame that their first match was cancelled last week due to bad weather, however the game will now be rearranged for after the half term. They are now ready for their upcoming 5 matches. As always, parents and carers are invited to all home games, letters will be sent out, like last week, to invite you to each game.

Y4 have enjoyed their first few weeks at Total Fitness for their swimming lessons. This year, due to having their sessions closer to school, the children can walk to their lessons. It also means that the children get more time in the pool. After speaking with staff who attend the sessions, they have mentioned how well behaved our children are and how hard they work once they are in the pool. The staff at Total Fitness are also challenging all children, regardless of their swimming abilities. Keep up the great work Y4!

The lunchtime leaders, a group of 8 Y6 children, are now confident at delivering their own sessions to the the younger children at lunchtime, after having support from Connor from QFirst Sports. Miss Costin said the leaders have been getting to know the Y1 and Y2 children and have been trying out some different activities for the children to take part in such as circuits, circle games and ball skills. The leaders were also delighted to receive their purple lunchtime leader caps!

On Wednesday, the whole school took part in a wakey shakey Wednesday workout to raise money for the NSPCC. The children (and staff) really enjoyed taking part in the event and felt alert and ready for the day ahead! Good fun had by all!

Finally, the Y6 children spent the last few days of the term at Robinwood. The children were faced with a variety of sporting opportunities such as canoeing, caving, climbing and archery. The children were challenged to take part in different adventures and teamwork opportunities, what a fantastic experience for our children! Read Mrs Reynolds’ blog to find out more.

So what is happening in the next half term?
Y2 and Y5 will have the curriculum support sessions with the focus being on hockey.
A hockey after school club will also start for certain year groups,  the first week back. Letters have already been sent out for the relevant year groups.
The sports crew will kick start the term with a fast paced invasion game focused session for the Y3 children, sounds exciting!
Football training will recommence with Mr Evans every Friday, and the team will face their first friendly match with Hollins.
The netball team will continue their training each Tuesday and will play their 5 matches as part of the BJSSA league.
The cross country tournament will take place in March at Heaton Park, letters to follow.
We also have a Bury CC Junior Coach coming in to deliver some cricket sessions to the Y4, Y5 and Y6 children, letters to follow the first week back.
The lunchtime leaders will continue to create sporting activities for the younger children, working alongside Miss Costin.
Ping Pong sessions with Mrs Darby will start for the Y4 children, keep a look out for more information in the upcoming letters.
The after school children will also continue to have exciting sporting opportunities every Thursday and Friday, ask Miss Costin for more information.

Is your child interested in a particular sport? Are you looking for an out of school club? Since having our dance sessions in school this term, one child in Y3 has joined a dance club after talking with me about a possible dance club. If you would like any information regarding sports clubs for your child to attend outside of school, please ask me and I can point you in the right direction. We have a variety of links with out of school clubs such as football, cricket, netball, dance and gymnastics clubs within the local area, so please just ask. Mrs McLoughlin.

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