A bird’s eye view of our state-of-the-art facility

A bird’s eye view of our state-of-the-art facility

13 October 2020

It is a very exciting time for sport at St Mary’s. We are continuing to grow with the development of our new facilities at Long Road – developed in partnership with Homerton College, University of Cambridge, our girls will thrive even more than they already do using these state-of-the-art facilities. The facilities at Long Road included three netball courts where the English Schools Netball Association teams, alongside year group teams, are already training. From the start of this academic year, lessons have been taking place at Long Road. The girls have used the 3G surface for football, the hockey astro and the netball courts. We also have a range of athletics facilities, including two long jump pits, alongside a high jump and shot putt area. We are looking to increase our provision for cricket and with the instalment of 2 cricket nets we will be increasing the opportunity for girls to participate in this.

One of the sports that St Mary’s has been particularly successful in over the last few years has been Netball. The U14 and U16 English Schools Netball Association teams, compete yearly at the independent school, and county school finals, regularly qualifying for the Eastern Regional Tournaments.

Our bi-annual Gymnastics display is also always a highlight in the year for sport. It is always wonderful to see so many girls enthusiastic, performing in front of friends and family.

Our unique boathouse situated on the River Cam is a place where our girls can enjoy rowing in PE lessons when they are the Upper School and where they are also invited to attend our Learn to Row programme at weekends. Whether your daughter has rowed before or would like to start for the very first time, we are happy for everyone to attend to learn and develop their rowing skills. Girls who take up rowing are taught by specialist rowing coaches who have experienced rowing themselves.

In sports at St Mary’s we encourage and congratulate everyone’s achievements. At our Senior School we celebrate girls’ achievements inside and outside of school. Your daughter will be supported with her sporting ambitions and encouraged by a dedicated team in the sports department. We have several girls in the school who are part of the England Hockey and England Netball pathways, alongside national and international swimmers. We celebrate the girls’ successes in a sports awards dinner each year, where we invite athletes to come to speak and present awards.

Research by UK charity, Women in Sport, Reframing Sport, highlights the critical relationship between sport and self-worth, confidence, and body image in young girls. The positive impact of our ‘Sport for All’ policy is evident in our recent Senior School student survey, which aimed to understand how St Mary’s girls experience sport:

88% of St Mary’s girls enjoy PE versus 49% in Reframing Sport

97% of St Mary’s girls believe exercise is important versus 56% in Reframing Sport

We are very mindful that we must continue to evolve our approach, to ensure girls continue to enjoy physical activities throughout their time at St Mary’s and beyond. The key principles of Reframing Sport are now integrated with our overall approach to sport, you can have a look on our website for more details.

During lockdown last academic year our students continued to have remote sports lessons and were able to interact with their teachers each week. Girls in the lower school completed an Olympics Project, looking forward to the re-arranged Toyko 2021 Olympics next year. This was presented to the rest of the school in our very first Virtual Sports Day. Continuing our tradition of our annual sports day, which is always a day filled with excellent sporting performances and enthusiasm from the girls, we provide a virtual event for everyone in the school to get involved with. This included house competitions and time to celebrate the sport that all of our students had been doing since March.

We also are very excited announce that we will be offering A Level Physical Education from September 2021. Students who study this subject in our sixth form will gain a greater insight into the world of sport, studying Anatomy and Physiology, Sports Psychology and Sport in Society. They will use our facilities at Long Road to develop their practical performance, alongside theory-based lessons.

In practical sports lessons at St Mary’s your daughter will experience a range of sports including netball, hockey, football, gymnastics, dance and rowing. In years 7 to 9 following a curriculum that looks to develop understanding and skill performance in striking and fielding, net and wall and invasion games. In lessons we also focus on personal skills such as communication, teamwork and resilience that can be transferred into other subjects and areas of our students lives. When the girls are in year 10, 11 and sixth form they follow and options programme curriculum, where the students are able design their own curriculum by choosing the sports that they would like to participate in. These include traditional sports such as netball, hockey, and rowing, alongside some activities that may be new such as lacrosse, volleyball, and touch rugby. Students in the sixth form are also offered more sporting opportunities outside of their timetabled lessons, in the form of additional lessons during the day. These included activities such as invasion games, aerobics and bootcamp fitness activities.

Our extra-curricular opportunities at our Senior School also include lunchtime and afterschool clubs, interschool fixtures and inter-house competitions. Clubs include netball, hockey, dance, gymnastics, and football to name but a few. With the facilities at Long Road being completed we are now able to offer clubs at our very own sports ground, making full use of our fantastic new facilities. Each year we regularly compete against other schools in local fixtures and enter in tournaments for the girls to participate in.

Whether she is one of our elite athletes, or a girl who just enjoys sport for fun, we look forward to welcoming and teaching your daughter at our Senior School and seeing her sporting journey develop.

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