The Government-led national awards scheme set up after the 2012 Olympics, rewards schools for their commitment to the development of competition across their school and into the community.
Prestfelde was awarded silver by School Games last year, but has worked hard – under the direction of new Sports Development Officer Tina Owen – to secure gold for the 2016/17 academic year.
The award, facilitated by the Youth Sport Trust, recognises performance in four categories: participation for all, competition, opportunities for leadership activities and a school’s links to local clubs.
Tina said she was passionate about providing competition opportunities in more non-traditional sports, along with new leadership and volunteering programmes and individual skills coaching and mentoring sessions.
She already runs DMP (developmental movement play) sessions on a one-to-one basis at Prestfelde, to help children with co-ordination and movement. She has also introduced child-led developments aimed at promoting confidence and boosting self-esteem through sport and leadership, such as the break time pilot ‘Playmakers’ scheme, where pairs of children are appointed as leaders to spearhead fun activities for groups of six.
Tina, who was awarded the England Netball Rose Award in 2008 for her services to wheelchair netball, also intends to establish a new elite scholarship programme to foster a culture of ‘giving back’ through volunteering and leadership so the best sportsmen and women become role models for peers. She also wants to found a ‘Dare to Believe’ festival next year, which would see Prestfelde build relationships with special schools in the region.
She said: “I am committed to get more pupils involved in sport and to deliver more opportunities for all pupils. This will have a positive impact on how sport is delivered in school.
“School Games is focused on fairness and fun for all, providing opportunities and promoting inclusion. It is so important to give all children opportunities to represent their school – not necessarily in one of the traditional sports.
“I envisage every child being nurtured and developed to compete at their appropriate level. We are seeking to encourage lifelong participation.”
Prestfelde’s Head Fiona Orchard, said: “I am delighted that Prestfelde has achieved the School Games Mark Gold Award which recognises the work we have put in to provide a broad spectrum of sports and games for all our pupils. We work very hard on inclusivity at Prestfelde and see sport as a vital part of our children’s education regardless of their ability.”