School Games – helping pupils settle into secondary education

Greater Manchester School Games have used a festival of physical activity to support year 7 pupils from schools across the area to settle into their new secondary school.

Pupils from Our Lady’s RC High School were welcomed to Graystone Action Park in October for a day of skateboarding, bouldering, scooter riding and freestyle gymnastics. 

The activities were designed to give the pupils a positive experience of physical activity and increase their confidence, determination and resilience. Benefits that they can use to support their transition into high school.

In the 2020/21 academic year, Sport England’s Active Lives data showed that 41.5% of Key Stage 2 (year 3-6) pupils were meeting the Chief Medical Officer recommended 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

This figure drops to 39% amongst pupils in Key Stage 3 (year 7-9). 

The day provided a positive experience of activity for the young people and built skills which could be taken back into the classroom to support them to reach their potential in a new setting.

Jess Simons, Active Children Lead at GreaterSport, said: 

“Physical activity has so many benefits for young people like improved attainment and physical health and we wanted the festival to help raise the pupils’ resilience and self-confidence.

“The move from primary to secondary school can be really challenging for some pupils but we hope that, through attendance at the festival, we’ll be making it that bit easier for them. 

“The School Games organisers do so much fantastic work supporting our young people to discover the immense benefits of an active childhood and it’s been great having their support to put on this fantastic event.”

Paul Schofield, Manchester’s School Games Organiser, said:

“It was such a great event, the students from Our Lady’s High School had a great time. They loved it all.”

Our Lady’s HS teacher, Mr Valentine added:

“The students really enjoyed it and so did I! The only downside being that I seemed to forget I was in my 40s and got as involved as possible. A great day and our students really did get a lot out of it, especially building their resilience.”