National recognition for King's Lynn-based King Edward VII Academy
A west Norfolk high school has earned national recognition for reigniting their intra-school competition programme during Covid-19.
The Youth Sports Trust has recognised Lynn's King Edward VII Academy for successfully relaunching its house system based on the school’s eight values of passion, self-belief, respect, honesty, determination, teamwork, creativity and empathy.
Despite a recent case of coronavirus just before half-term, the wellbeing of staff and students remains KES' priority and the academy have revealed what has worked well for them since returning to the classroom in September.
KES began the first two weeks of term with a daily wellbeing mile walk, where all staff and students walk and talk together, as well as hosting an inter-form quiz.
Pupils have been coming to school in PE kit, which has enabled 100 per cent attendance from year 7 to 11 in PE lessons and full subscription to extra-curricular activity.
Students can also come in kit on days where they haven’t got timetabled PE but are attending an extra-curricular club.
The Academy's bubble clubs are extra-curricular clubs maintain the integrity of the bubble system and ach day of the week hosts a different year group.
Sports on offer include badminton, table tennis, netball and football (small sided games) and youngsters are able to achieve the desired intent, but also build from PE lessons.
Clubs focus on a sense of belonging, creating a safe environment, with pupils contributing to house points through attendance and the behaviours exhibited.
Seventy-two children are now attending the Year 7 football bubble activity, with 24 of them being girls.
The Academy has organised foot golf for sixth formers and staff and GCSE students are organising and delivering their own extra-curricular sessions in line with COVID-19 guidelines, demonstrating their leadership skills and developing other key life skills in the process.
Different captains have been selected for each week of bubble clubs to help grow self-esteem, while they have also engaged parents through emails, social media and updates given to students in every tutorial.
Sarah Hartshorn, KES principal, said: "The house system is a long standing tradition at the school and has been running since 1898.
"It brings a real sense of community. Even though year groups are separated in ‘Bubbles’ they can still contribute to a common goal."
Ross McNeil, Head of Year 8 and house enrichment leader at the Academy, added: "It’s not about being good at it – it’s about being part of it.
"The children are desperate for the interaction and engagement with each other through sport.
"As a school we’ve ensured that we follow all the guidelines and the students have been exemplary in following them."