Headlands School’s Sports Leaders Academy have been working with primary school students to help younger children to follow in their footsteps.
Older pupils have teamed up with youngsters from Bay Primary and Burlington Juniors at a number of events recently to develop their skills and get them ready for secondary school.
Becky Hoult, PE teacher at Headlands, said: “The aim of the academy is to link the transition from being a primary school sports leader to becoming a secondary school sports leader.
“Sports leaders in both school settings are expected to uphold the values of honesty, passion, respect, self-belief and team work.
“They are role models to other students in school and also the wider community. Without sports leaders, it is impossible to run any sports clubs or festivals.
“The Headlands School Sports Leaders Academy aims to develop year five and six pupils into advanced sports leaders, so by the time they reach secondary school they can run sports festivals from year seven.
“Currently, leaders are selected from year nine and above, due to the maturity of the students and the confidence to take charge of a group of pupils.
“By developing primary pupils into more advanced sports leaders, this bridges the gap and can begin to develop their leadership skills at festivals sooner.
“It gives students the skills to be more confident and show leadership qualities while also expanding their knowledge.”
As part of the trial, the young sports leaders from Bay and Burlington have a buddy from Headlands School from year seven or eight.
Pupils at Headlands had to apply for just 30 places in the academy and over 120 applications were received. In addition to this, in charge of their own group of pupils, are 10 peer mentors from years 10 and 11 with a sporting background who have previously helped as sports leaders.
The first academy session included a team-building exercise which was run by Taff Bowles, from East Riding in charge of outdoor and adventurous activities. The aim of the session was to get buddies talking to each other and getting to know each other better.
Tasks involved blindfolded obstacle courses, tyre races, and parachute and water pipe challenges.
During the second session the Sports Leaders looked at behaviour management and how to deal with difficult students and communication skills. With six volunteers from Headlands School Sixth form, they did a series of situational role plays and the sports leaders had to come up with was to resolve the issues occurring.
In the third and most recent session , the focus was inclusion and how to make sport available for all, no matter how severe their disability.
During this session, the group teamed up with Andy Watts and 10 pupils from Kingsmill Special School in Driffield. Selected special needs pupils from Bridlington primary schools were also invited to take part.
The day began with Rachael MacKenzie, a former British and World Thai Boxing Champion, speaking about how she got involved with elite sport. She then got pupils to begin with team games and to discuss what qualities were involved in being a good sports leader and a good role model.
During the afternoon session pupils were introduced to inclusive games – some of which they have never seen or heard of before such as boccia and new age curling.
In these sessions, pupils from Kingsmill taught all the sports leaders how to play and the rules. Then, each member of the group had to become the umpire and direct the group how to play the game.
Hoult said: “This was a very positive experience for all students as many have not encounted pupils with severe learning difficulties like the students from Kingsmill and it was a pleasure to see everyone working side by side.”
The sessions are building up to a Key Stage One festival in the summer term in which the sports leaders are going to design, run and take charge of for the full day.
In the meantime, Headlands Academy pupils are already leading coaching sessions to Martongate Primary School pupils at lunchtime including football, dodgeball, cricket, netball, fitness and a change4life club.
In the summer term, a number of Headlands pupils will also be helping to run the Year 6 cricket league for primary school students.