Extra-curricular - Letter from the PE Department
At The Chalfonts Community College we believe in providing opportunities for students to maintain and improve their physical and mental health. One of the ways we do this is by providing a comprehensive and student-designed extra-curricular calendar.
Our aims are:
- To provide exercise opportunities which appeal to as many students as possible. We want all students to take pleasure from sport and hope that they are all able to find something they enjoy
- To give opportunities for competition for those who enjoy this aspect of sport
- To provide activities that are accessible for all students and offer as little disruption as possible for parents
The design of our extra-curricular plan is influenced both by our aims, activities that have been popular with students in the past, and the results of a whole school survey of students undertaken at the end of last term. All extra-curricular activities are offered voluntarily by members of staff and there is no obligation on staff to run these activities.
- 45% of students stated that they wanted both the curriculum and the extra-curricular plans to have a significant focus on fitness whilst only 20% wanted it to remain focused on performance and competition. We have responded by introducing before school fitness sessions every day of the week. We understand that dropping a student off early is easier for those working 9.00-5.00 than a club which requires a 4:00pm collection. Students can come in from 8:00 and either use the school's excellent gym or attend one of the staff-run fitness classes such as Yoga, Muscle Conditioning and Zumba. We have a personal trainer working at the school full time on a voluntary basis throughout this year, who will be available at all of these clubs to offer guidance to all students. We will also provide training plans for all students appropriate to their individual goal.
- 60% of students stated that they would like to see a change in some aspect of the school PE kit. Whilst we can't make all changes suggested, we will allow students to attend the pre-school fitness activities wearing their own sports attire. The school PE kit must still be worn for all PE lessons.
- Football, Basketball and Netball were the most popular sports among students. As a result we have maintained these sports despite reduced staff numbers within the department. We are introducing a 'power league' approach to our lunchtime clubs, which encourages all students to enter a team and be put in a league with those of similar ability. The power league for Football will start at lunch on Monday 24th September. Students should sort their teams of five and inform the PE department. A fee of £3 per student is requested and should be given in at the same time as team entries. All of this money is re-invested in the tournament in the form of prizes and equipment.
There are a great deal of benefits available for students who attend these clubs such as:
- Improved mental health and focus for learning. Exercise causes the release of chemicals in your brain which help improve your mood and the parts of the brain responsible for memory and learning. Through doing exercise at the start of the day, students can help prepare themselves for a day of learning. Regular exercise can reduce stress and symptoms of mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety
- Increased opportunity to meet and make friends with other students combined with improved social skills. Exercise helps young people to develop skills such as conflict resolution, co-operation with peers and leadership. For those just starting at the school or looking to make a fresh start, this is a great opportunity to meet new people
- Stronger muscles and bones. Regular impact exercise such as walking or running strengthens bones and reduces the risk of fractures. All exercise, including resistance training can strengthen muscles which reduces the risk of injury, both within sport and in other situations
- Leaner bodies with less chance of being overweight and reduced chance of developing type 2 diabetes and lower blood pressure. Regular exercise (between 30-60 minutes per day) can ensure stronger muscles, including the heart, which makes it easier for students to maintain a healthy amount of body fat, which affects all of these conditions
- Rewards. All students who attend any school club receive a reward card which contributes to their overall points in the school rewards system.
The school is lucky to have an excellent gym/fitness suite which is available to all students. We are keen to improve the functional workout area through investment in additional equipment such as resistance bands, additional attachments for the weighted equipment etc. With the challenging financial situation in schools at the moment, we are grateful for any contributions – both equipment or financial. Please contact duncanfawcett@Chalfonts.org if you have anything you would like to donate. All contributions are gratefully received by both students and staff.
The school's extra-curricular plan will be on the school website shortly and is updated termly. It is also displayed in all tutor rooms, outside the PE department buildings and on the school's display screens. We hope that through attending some of the many opportunities provided, your child is able to find something that they really enjoy which will help contribute to improving their physical and mental health.
Thanks for your time and help.
The Chalfonts Community College PE Department