Shortlisted for an ISA Award for Outstanding Sport

Sport is flourishing at Heywood Prep. The School is committed to teaching pupils a broad, balanced sports programme. It is tailored to each individual and prepares children for a lifelong love and involvement in sport and physical activity. We are thrilled to have recently been shortlisted for the Independent Schools Association Award for Sport.

Heywood is a high-achieving prep school in sport. Dedicating a significant proportion of staffing to having a full-time Director of Sport and two additional specialist PE and Games teachers, along with others who join the Games programme on match days, we feel strongly that Heywood Prep provides outstanding sport provision for each of our children, and we encourage all children to participate across a varied programme of sports and extra-curricular clubs. Our success is measured by the number of children willing to participate, the fact that every prep-aged child plays in matches every week, and we have participated in and scored highly in national and international events.

Sport teaching starts with our youngest 2 year-old nursery children, who are taught a weekly PE lesson by our specialist Games staff, pre-prep swim and enjoy a Games and a PE lesson weekly, up to one fifth of our timetable being dedicated to PE and Games in the Prep Department. Being a small school on a small site, we utilise community facilities to train and to play: Corsham Cricket Club, Corsham Rugby Club and the astroturf at Corsham Football Club is used for hockey. Years 3-6 play weekly fixtures, with rarely a team left at school – those that are train hard for the next big match and are never left sitting on the bench.

Our community links extend to creating close links with local primary schools, who do not have access to the specialist staff or facilities that we have. Affiliated with Youth School Games, Heywood initiated and has hosted for the last two years, the Mid Wilts Cross Country and Quad Kids events for over 400 local primary school children.

Heywood is a high-achieving prep school in sport, with many pupils now achieving district, county and national honours in both team and individual sports. We have achieved national success as a school in cross country (4 qualified for the ISA Nationals this year, we came 4th place in the Girls U9). At the ISA Athletics Finals this year 9 athletes qualified and achieved 2 gold medals, 3 silver and 2 bronze, including a Year 5 National ISA 75m Sprint and Relay Champion. As a result of our performance at the ISA Nationals, we were named the ISA South West Region’s Most Successful School. Our children have competed in the ISA National Championships in fencing (U11 Boys Epee silver, U11 Boys Epee bronze and U11 girls Epee bronze). Our fencers have also competed internationally in Challenge Wratislava, Poland, where we took part in the U11 Boys Foil and Epee and achieved a gold medal in the U11 Girls Foil and Epee. Our U9 fencing development squad regularly competes in inter-school matches and local novice competitions to aid their development.

We further support children who need additional help with gross motor skills, and extend and challenge our talented children, through our Individualised Learning programme. Each day, for 30 minutes, children attend sessions that meet their own personal needs for support, enrichment or extension in a range of subjects. We offer a support session for Games each week, alongside several GAT sessions to further stretch our able pupils.

Sports staff are passionate about providing opportunities for pupils to meet and to watch professional sportsmen and sportswomen play their sport. Trips to watch professional rugby matches, to watch Team Bath netball and to watch cricket are just a few of the opportunities that have been on offer to our children and their families. Our pupils even had the opportunity to be flag bearers for a Bath Rugby match earlier this year, which encouraged more children to be enthusiastic about improving their own match play.

After school, Heywood’s commitment to offering sport opportunities to all continues. We run in the region of 45 clubs per week, including Mini-Red Tennis, Rugby with the Bath Rugby Development Coaches, Fencing, Judo, Netball, Hockey, Ultimate Frisbee, Dance, Cricket with Corsham CC, Multisport, encouraging in the region of 140 children per week to participate in sport-related after school clubs.

Overnight opportunities extend to the annual Heywood Prep Sports Tour, and the biennial Ski Trip, which this year took our young skiers to Passo Tonale, Italy, where they held the first-ever Heywood Prep Inter-house Slalom Race!

We have developed further this year, hosting the first Wishford Schools Athletics Meet for our 8 sister schools in the Wishford group at Palmer Park Stadium, Reading. Heywood Prep won the competition. In addition, Heywood put together its own ski team this year which has already competed in Southwest Snow Sports Association slalom competition, bringing home several first-place trophies and personal best timings. Our Equestrian Team is under development and we look forward to encouraging success in this area in the coming year.

As we constantly strive to provide more sporting opportunities for every single child at Heywood Prep, whether a national champion or novice, we encourage all children to participate, and for the school community to be supportive of each other’s efforts.