Over the last two Fridays we have carried out 2 major sports events at Grimsdell, enabling mass participation alongside the competitive edge that facilitates team spirit and a sense of belonging.
The first was our annual sports day where the children compete in a variety of classic races to win points for their house. For pre prep children this builds a sense of competition as they cheer one another on, but also a sense of togetherness as we are all experiencing the excitement together and supporting one another. At Grimsdell we do believe in having a fairly strong element of team competition which also allows individuals to shine or feel included. Learning to win or lose graciously is a key skill. Much of the excitement of sport comes from competition so if we are to enthuse children about healthy life styles and exercise, an injection of competition is going feed that where sport is concerned.
Our second event ‘It’s a knock out!’ had a similar flavour and was a one off finale to our ‘Splish Splash Splosh’ water curriculum theme this term. We had water based obstacle races with inflatables and the children again competed in their houses to gain points for their team.
Having observed the children do two of these large events in quick succession I could identify that in the second event their understanding of team work and their confidence to ‘have a go’ came even more naturally, and that their recent experience of sports day had perhaps ‘informed’ the way they behaved and approached the events today.
The staff too, acted so naturally as a team – looking around to see what needed doing, supporting one another and ensuring that everything about the afternoon went smoothly. Children need team work to be taught and modelled, not just through sports and competition but through opportunities to work collaboratively.
Imagine a sports day with no teams and everyone just racing for their own gain. It doesn’t sound nearly as much fun – and where would the support come from to make you run your best? Imagine a classroom with no group work and everyone working in isolation. Where would the spark and motivation come from and how would we learn from each other?
Building our collaborative learning approach and understanding of good team work will continue to be a priority for us at Grimsdell. This is the future. There are very few career paths or innovation opportunities that don’t involve working with others, sharing ideas and appreciating the input that others can bring to the table.