Hello, my name is Mr Ayres and in September 2018 I became the PE teacher at Thornhill Primary School. I have always been interested in sport and physical activity and I enjoy running, going to the gym, playing football and hiking. My job is very exciting as I get to witness the passion the children have for sport on a daily basis.
PE at Thornhill Primary School
PESSPA (Physical Education, School Sport and Physical Activity) at Thornhill Primary School
PESSPA is at the heart of Thornhill Primary School and is a driver for whole school improvement. We have the following ambitions for PESSPA:
For our children to enjoy being active
For all children to be physically literate
For all children to have the knowledge, skills and motivation to equip them for a lifelong healthy lifestyle
For all children to have the potential to participate in lifelong physical activity and sport
For all our children to experience competitive sport
For our children to develop important life skills through regular sport
At Thornhill Primary School we recently improved our facilities and have amazing spaces for PESSPA to flourish. Our school yard has been re-surfaced in 3G, allowing it to be used throughout the year. The school grounds benefit from two multi-sport pitches, low level climbing course, sand pit with run up area, sprint track, a large field and forest school area.
Each class at Thornhill Primary School take part in 30 minute daily PE lessons lead by a teacher with a PE specialism. In Key Stage 1 our children master the fundamentals of sport allowing them to excel in a range of physical activities as they get older. The Tree Tops Motor Skills group is an early intervention programme for children who struggle to master the fundamentals and they benefit from an extra 30 minutes of support each week in small group setting.
We also teach our children to lead healthy active lifestyles to take into adulthood. Our children are physically active for sustained periods of time, helping them to reach the target of sixty minutes of physical activity per day set by the Government. We have a school buddy system where older children run sport and physical activity sessions at break and lunch times allowing children to be active for 45 minutes over their allocated break time each day. We have funded extra swimming lessons, allowing our children to swim in years 3 and 4, in both the small and large pool. In year 6, 90% of our children can swim a distance of 25 metres (72% nationally), 76% can swim using a range of strokes (56% nationally) and 48% can perform safe self-rescue (34% nationally). This is an achievement we are very proud of considering it is such an important life skill.
Our children have the opportunity to engage in a wide variety of competitive sports leagues, festivals and competitions. In the 2018 – 2019 academic year we attended 56 different events ran by Sedgefield School Sport Partnership and the Education Enterprise. At Thornhill Primary we are creating closer links with local sports clubs to help signpost our children to out of school sport. We have closer relationships with Shildon Cricket Club, Shildon Football Club and Woodham Golf Course, allowing our children the chance to continue taking part in sport outside of school in the local community. In 2019, 30 of our children attended the ICC Cricket World Cup at Chester le Street, allowing children the opportunity to witness top class sport, some, for the first time.
At Thornhill Primary School we use the School Games Values to teach our children about important life skills such as teamwork, respect, determination, passion, honesty and self-belief. We recognise the importance of having a healthy mind and body. During the 2018 – 2019 academic year each child took part in the FISCH Project (Family Initiative Supporting Children’s Health) where they took part in a variety of activities such as physical activity and healthy eating. During the current academic year each child will also take part in the Team Up Kids Programme to raise awareness of how to keep your mind healthy. This programme uses the brainy bunch to teach young people about brain chemicals and how to keep healthy. We have recently been awarded the Gold School Games Award, an achievement which demonstrates the staffs and children’s passion for physical education, school sport and physical activity.