At Hatherop, from Nursery to Prep 8, all children take part in sports, or physical activities regularly throughout the week. Whether at school or during their leisure time, playing sport is something that most children enjoy. However, it is not only the physical benefits of sports that are important.
Playing sport, interacting with others, and being part of a team enables children to develop numerous skills. These skills are essential skills that are important throughout our lives and at Hatherop we put a huge emphasis on having fun whilst learning these vital skills.
Throughout Nursery and Pre-Prep, children will begin by learning the basics and the fundamentals of a range of different skills in a fun and relaxed way. They will start to learn to have control over a range of objects such as balls, beanbags, quoits and hoops. There is a lot of opportunity for self-exploration and for the children to discover for themselves how to use the equipment in different ways. The children will also be taught to refine their skills in rolling, bouncing, dribbling, kicking, throwing and catching.
In gymnastics and dance, they are encouraged to develop their body awareness and understand how their body can move in different ways. They will be encouraged to experiment and explore, whilst also moving on different gymnastics equipment or in response to a range of music. From this we are then able to support the children to continually build on their skills and progress.
Alongside the development of their skills, the children will also be learning to work with others and start to understand the importance of collaboration and cooperation. They will participate in a range of chasing games and they will start to learn about what makes a game competitive as they begin to create their own mini games. This makes their learning less teacher led and in doing so, enables them to explore and build their confidence.
They also learn from each other and this can be such an empowering and less intimidating way to develop their skills, particularly when children are younger. In the summer term, the children begin to learn the basics of striking and fielding. They start to learn individual skills, such as hitting, throwing, catching and fielding skills. Each week the children will build on these skills and start to combine them together. This gradual combining of skills in a fun and inclusive manner, enables children to continually reinforce their learning, whilst also enable to them to feel more secure in their own ability and progress at their own rate.