Sports @ Bluecoat

Positive Physical Health

The school offers a varied and strong sports programme, including:

  • The schools comprehensive tracking system allows the school to target all young people (pupils less active, pupil premium, SEND) with school sport opportunities and actively encourage them to take part in physical activity.

  • The school provides all pupils with two and a half hours of timetabled PE per week (within the curriculum only) and have an additional 15 minutes per day of 'physical blast'. In addition, evidence per term highlighted that, on average, just over 80% of pupils take up extracurricular sporting activity per week. Kari Gibbons (PE Lead) also demonstrated a strong understanding of less active young people. The school also identified 163 pupils who were not regularly participating in after-school clubs and have high aspirations to get them active. So far, the school has successfully engaged 18% of the least active cohort in extracurricular sporting activity.

  • Discussions highlighted a strong competition calendar for all pupils. During 2018/19, the school took part in 13 and 6 School Games formats at intra-school and inter-school level respectively, as well as providing a number of personal challenges throughout the year. The school also provided opportunities through inter-school for young people to participate in B and C team standard competition in 3 School Games formats.

  • The school places a strong emphasis on engaging pupils in leading, managing and officiating School Games activity. During 2018/19, all KS2 students (100%) were actively engaged in intra-school sport leadership. The ethos of High 5 netball (leading, coaching, officiating etc.) has been applied to other sports in order to train young people in leading, managing and officiating. The schools Play Leader also promote health & wellbeing, lead break/lunch-time activity and support sport for all. Sports Ambassadors take on the role of the 'sports crew' and meet every half-term and all have individual roles and responsibilities to support the planning and development of School Games.

  • A number of external coaches, clubs and leisure providers support the delivery of school sport and physical activity through a range of opportunities for young people. In addition, the school has established active links with several local community sports clubs/providers; 15 as a signposting function and 10 formalised links where the school has regular communication with them.

  • The sport offer at the school is supplemented by strong CPD opportunities. During 2018/19, three teaching assistants completed a 10 week level 5 PE specialism training course and there is a strong ethos of learning from each other within school. The Devon School Games and local SSCO offer provides additional CPD which the school accesses at events/festivals.

  • The school engages with Facebook and Twitter very well, promoting all the aspects of their School Games activity regularly, and this is also supplemented by school sport updates in Parent Mail.

With a huge amount of young people competing in local inter-school competitions this year, we are extremely proud of our pupils for their dedication to all aspects of school sport, including those young volunteers, leaders and officials who made our competitions possible.

2021 Sports Week

Click on the link above to find out how the House Teams got on.

Positive Mental Health

Here at Bluecoat, we believe that promoting positive mental health is just as important as promoting positive physical health.

Throughout the year, we work on developing children's mental health in a range of different ways. Through circle time, PSHE and class discussions, we talk openly about feelings, emotions and mental wellbeing, encouraging children to do the same.

Each year, we celebrate Mental Health & Wellbeing Week, planning targeted teaching sessions which provide children with the tools they might need to improve their own mental health.

For some excellent resources on supporting children's mental health, have a look at the links below:


Swimming & COVID-19

From September 2021, we will be reintroducing swimming lessons. Due to the pandemic these have now been suspended for two years and we have a significant proportion of pupils in the upper school who are currently unable to swim. We hope to address this by doubling the number of sessions we offer and changing to a targeted approach which benefits those children with the most need. We will, therefore, start with pupils in Y6 who are unable to swim and work down through the year groups until we have addressed the backlog and are again in a position to offer universal provision to all pupils within designated year groups.

In usual circumstances, weekly swimming lessons are provided for all children in years 3 and 4 (on a half termly rota) at 1610 Torrington Swimming Pool. Lessons are led by Sue Tyrrell, a Qualified Level 2 Swimming Instructor with 13 years experience.

Torrington 1610 Pool

Swimming Provision at Bluecoat

There are many benefits of learning to swim. Swimming keeps your child’s heart and lungs healthy, improves strength and flexibility, increases stamina and even improves balance and posture. Swimming is inclusive; children of any age or ability can take part and it is more accessible for children with additional needs than almost any other sport. Swimming provides challenges and rewards accomplishments, which helps children to become self-confident and believe in their abilities.

Most importantly, swimming can save your child’s life. Drowning is still one of the most common causes of accidental death in children, so being able to swim is an essential life-saving skill.

At Bluecoat we are lucky enough to have a fully qualified Level 2 swimming instructor with 13 years experience. Along with other members of staff, including class teachers, Sue Tyrrell ensures that the swimming lessons at Bluecoats are not only of a high quality, but are also great fun too!

Using games such as 'Simon Says', bubble blowing activities and even water polo, Sue supports the children in gradually building their confidence in the water.

Through using ability based groupings and a high ratio of staff to children, the quality of provision and the amount of time children spend in the water is maximised.

The National Curriculum states that all schools must provide swimming instruction either in Key Stage 1 or Key Stage 2 and in particular, pupils should be taught to:

  • swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres

  • use a range of strokes effectively, for example, front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke

  • perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations

In addition, Bluecoat follow the Devon Swim 100 curriculum which provides a broad range of water based skills and knowledge, supporting children reach a new minimum standard and expectation of swimming 100 metres by the end of Key Stage 2. The programme was developed by the Devon PEDPASS team in response to headteachers’ request for a more robust swimming provision. It aims to improve the outcomes of school swimming by setting a new minimum standard and expectation of all children swimming 100 metres by the end of Key Stage 2.

Devon Swim 100

Schools are required to publish how many Year 6 pupils have met the national curriculum requirements relating to swimming and water safety.

Our results for the 2018/2019 academic year are:

  • 92% could swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres

  • 92% could use a range of strokes effectively

  • 92% could perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations


Sports Mark Gold Award

We are delighted to announce that we have achieved the School Games Gold Mark Award for the 2018/19 academic year. The School Games Mark is a Government led award scheme launched in 2012, facilitated by the Youth Sport Trust to reward schools for their commitment to the development of competition across their school and into the community, and we are delighted to have been recognised for our success.