International Players in Sports Education
High on the list of the new headmaster Marc Morris' priorities, P.E. is taking a front line in producing well rounded individuals of all those who enter the school's gates, neglecting government targets to make students into less-round individuals by 2012. Both staff and students are encouraged to take part in extra-curricular sporting events, as diverse as Teacher Sports Day in the summer of 2005 and many inter-form competitions. The school also has a number of UK international sports players, both past and present students. Kristin Bromley, the Olympian Skeleton Bob star is perhaps the most high flying current sportsman who is currently the 2008 world champion, but is being pursued closely by Rachel Henry, an England U21 netball international, and David Groom, on the UK Judo team. Joe Hodgson is the first choice goalkeeper for the GB-22 handball team.
Places to Play
The P.E. department is in charge of the ever expanding sports facilities around the school. The Glen Playing Fields are a number of minutes east from the school, and used for interschool football competitions, and rarely see the boots of less sporting students. The top field of the school is on a slope, and thus is the perfect site for a 200m running track. It also has the school's long jump and triple jump area, and an area of grass within the track, suitable for javelin throwing and rugby playing.
The old lower field, shadowed by a bank of trees, is now the host of a fenced in astro-turf area, large enough for a full sized game of hockey, and marked with numerous other courts for netball, 5-a-side football, and others. Being totally open, it gets very cold in the winter months, but due to the until recently very limited indoor sports facilities, was still where most boys' P.E. lessons took place during colder months, in wind, rain, hail, or scorching sun. Generations of boys remember getting back into the changing rooms and defrosting their hands on the single radiator, and having great trouble with buttons.
At the moment the top field is out of bounds in an effort to build Waterfoot Primary in its place.
The main reason for this ongoing pain was the P.E. staff's decision that cold sport is better than no sport, which itself was required by the fact that more often than not it is cold in Rossendale, and the old Gym (now converted into a Sixth Form study area and common room) was far too small for the classes of 60-90 taking games at any one time.
The P.E. facilities were added to by the £1m New Sports Hall in 2005, with extra classrooms, a fitness studio and dance studio, in addition to a large indoor (but nonetheless badly heated) area with basketball hoops, a sprung floor, and cricket nets.
Presently located at the front of the school, this area is available for use generally by students, on a rotational basis with different year groups being assigned a different court each half term. For year 7 students, who are not included in the rotation until year 11 leave in May, the cubby hole adjacent to room 69 is available for their sporting escapades.
This area is due to be replaced with a larger bus lay-by and teachers' car park.
If you are a girl, you get roughly 3 lessons of badminton, 3 lessons of rounders, a few dance lessons per year. The rest of the time is dedicated totally to Netball and Hockey, except for the one lesson per year when the top field is dry, and you are forced to run 800m. If you are a boy there is a lot more range of sports, doing two different sports every half term. It is pretty mixed generally, but do football whenever the teachers are away, or simply can't be bothered to teach.
For many years it was easy to get out of P.E. in the later years by going on Community Service. This meant not having to do P.E. for 6 months whilst you visited an elderly person in Waterfoot, did their shopping and chatted about rubbish... This, of course, a much better way of spending an hour a week and I think it's more likely to lead to a more well rounded person... My memories of P.E. were quite disturbing and usually include being hit rather hard around the ankles with a hockey stick.
If you are 'lucky' enough to be on a school team (especially netball) you get an A for effort and an A for attainment on every report. If you don't belong to a school team your grade becomes a C for Effort and a C for attainment.
Grouping For P.E.
In year 7 there is a B and G boys group, a B and G girls group, a N, R and S boys group and a N, R and S girls group. Sometimes the B and G boys will be mixed with the B and G girls and sometimes the N, R and S boys will be mixed with the N, R and S girls(most often because the other places e.g. the sports hall, the courts or the field are unavailable or because there are few P.E. teachers). In year 8 there will be a set 1 all boys group for B and G, a set 1 all girls group for B and G and a mixed group for the left overs from B and G. There will also be a set 1, 2 and 3 for N, R and S boys and three sets for R, N and S girls. In year 9 there are the same principles as in year 8.