'Champions aren't made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision.' Muhammad Ali
Our vision in the Physical Education department is to develop the potential of each individual through physical achievement and personal fitness, in a safe and enjoyable environment, thus encouraging a life long, positive relationship with physical activity and exercise.
Physical Education and Sport at Hitchin Girls’ School is a central feature of the school that develops the individual needs of students along a number of pathways. Our aim is to develop the whole person through physical activity and to encourage a range of learning skills through the love of exercise and sport. Not only through our curricular routes of study, but also at extra curricular activities and clubs, we encourage students to adopt a multi activity approach, developing a wide range of skills and enjoying friendships across all age ranges.
The development of healthy, active learners throughout all key stages is at the centre of our ethos.
Key Stage 3
Throughout the year, students are taught in either 12,8 or 6 hourly units of work, where they are encouraged to develop their performance, observation, evaluation and leadership skills. All students receive two hours of P.E. per week. The core activities taught across all three years at Key Stage 3 are Gymnastics, Dance, Hockey, Netball, Tennis, Rounders and Athletics.
Additional to this, students in Year 8 are given the opportunity to participate in one unit of Tag Rugby and in Year 9 the programme extends to include football, trampoline and leadership.
The programme is constructed to allow for a broad but balanced programme of activities, that develops a student’s physical literacy, fitness, leadership, choreographic and performance skills, through a range of invasion, striking and net games, gymnastics activities (including trampoline), athletics (including cross country running) and dance. By introducing a range of activities at this stage, we believe that we can offer something for everybody, without losing sight of the need for experiences in a wide range of fundamental skills. We encourage all students at this level to take part in individual and team activities, aesthetic appreciation and creative/ performance experiences. The development of enjoyment in physical activity is central to the programme, developing the needs of all students whether they are competitive or recreational, in order to help students make informed decisions about their learning pathways in P.E at Key Stage 4.
The early emphasis in Year 7 is multi-disciplinary and skills based, with a more gradual change of emphasis throughout Years 8 and 9 to develop observational, evaluative, tactical and compositional skills. Students are encouraged to develop a clear understanding of their strengths and weaknesses and set regular targets against an informed assessment process, which tracks their development across all three years. Dialogue and discussion between students and teachers is actively encouraged, with regard to the individual’s progress in P.E. Students are taught in mixed ability tutor groups in Year 7 and are placed in one of three teaching sets in Years 8 and 9.
Key Stage 4
All students study Physical Education at Key Stage 4, but are encouraged to develop their experiences through a number of pathways. Students are encouraged to look for opportunities in P.E at recreational, vocational and academic levels and at this stage, will be largely determined by student choice, resulting in a variety of exit routes. At Key Stage 4 there is a strong emphasis on health and fitness and the development of life long habits with regard to sport and exercise.
The pathways available are as follows.
Students can opt to undertake GCSE Full Course Physical Education (Edexcel). This course enables students to develop their knowledge and understanding of physical activity in relation to a healthy active lifestyle. The course comprises units on scientific, psychological and socio- cultural areas, as well as units on physical training, injury and prevention and health, fitness and wellbeing. Coupled with the practical component, this pathway enables students to apply a sound theoretical knowledge base to their training and sporting requirements, thus developing their understanding of sport and physical activity.
Students can opt to undertake GCSE Dance (AQA). This course enables students to follow a programme that encourages the improvement of technical and performance skills, compositional and choreographic experiences and the appreciation of dance through the observation and evaluation of professional companies and their works.
Students can also opt for a leadership pathway, whereby they can follow a route of study that will achieve the Level 1 Sports Leaders Award in Year 10 and the Level 2 award in Year 11. These highly valuable courses enable students to enhance their organisational and communication skills through basic teaching and coaching, providing coaching experiences with younger years and in local primary schools.
Students can also opt to undertake a non-examined route in Physical Education lessons where they are encouraged to gain experiences in a variety of activities and sports which will enable them to make decisions about life long physical activities through a purely recreational and fitness based programme of activities that aims to develop future good habits in physical activity (e.g. yoga, Pilates etc.).
On certain occasions, other leadership courses may be put on for students like the Netball Young Leaders Award and the Football Young Leaders Award. Students also have the opportunity to attend Dance Leadership awards through community links and agencies.
Key Stage 5
We have a long and successful history of delivering Physical Education at Advanced level and currently offer GCE P.E (OCR). Students are encouraged to develop their performance, training and theoretical skills and knowledge to a higher level. The subject is taught across all three consortium schools by an experienced, combined team of staff from all three Physical Education departments. The course takes a multi-disciplinary approach encouraging the development of different methods of enquiry drawn from a range of disciplines, including anatomy and physiology, acquiring movement skills, socio cultural studies, exercise physiology, sports psychology and biomechanics.
Students can also opt to undertake additional Sports Leadership Awards at both Level 2 and Level 3 in the sixth form. Both of these courses are designed to develop a variety of personal and leadership skills in a practical environment.
Meet The Team
We are a team of seven highly experienced and committed professionals, who are dedicated to providing opportunities through physical activity and sport in curriculum time and also in extracurricular activities. We pride ourselves on the range and diversity of teaching styles that enable us to deliver an enjoyable and well balanced programme of activity. We recognise the need for a safe and disciplined teaching environment, but strongly encourage the development of the students’ independent learning and thinking skills.
Mrs. D Maydom
Head of Department.
Mrs. J . Cornell
Miss. C Evans
Mrs. L . Johnson
Mrs. S Edwards
Miss. J Jacobs
Mrs. D. Ferguson (P.E. technician)
Extra Curricular Activities
The Physical Education department is fully committed to developing a student’s potential, participation levels and enjoyment through an extensive extra curricular programme that takes place at lunch times, after school and on some weekends. This includes a number of recreational club activities, team practices and training and a weekly recreational inter house league. Students are able to take part at either a recreational or competitive level in a wide range of activities, being actively encouraged to join at least one sports club per week, although many opt to take part in many more. We run teams and take part in fixtures in most sports undertaken at extra curricular sessions, with students performing at county, regional and national level in a number of sports. We also actively encourage those that take part in sports not covered by the clubs’ programme and offer our full support. We aim to develop links with local clubs in order to encourage post school involvement, with many of our students acting as ambassadors for these community clubs. Clubs exist at all levels and for all years in netball, hockey, athletics, rounders, and tennis, with three tiers of gymnastics, and rhythmic gymnastics clubs and a further five clubs for dance. Clubs are organised and coached by experienced teachers and also by senior student leaders. Additional clubs are organised for cricket, trampoline, rugby, fitness and football.
Within school, we organise an annual gymnastics competition, a sports day and a gym and dance display, as well as a number of smaller charity events involving sport and exercise. Sports tours have been well attended over the last few years, with our students gaining experience against international opposition.