Faculty Leader: Miss R Turnbull
In 2009, Friars Special School became a Specialist Sports College awarded by the Youth Sport Trust for its outstanding teaching and learning, the range of activities provided for pupils and the community and school partnerships it has.
Specialist Sports Status
At Friars the ethos of the Sports Specialism is to positively affect the whole school, working to raise standards for all pupils who attend and aiming to improve standards in attainment, enrichment, provision and take-up. In the school Ofsted inspection in July 2011 it was reported that:
“Specialist sports college status makes an outstanding contribution to students’ personal development.”
“Sport permeates across all subjects promoting further interest and enjoyment of learning.”
In 2011 Friars School was selected to be the lead school for Northamptonshire of a Youth Sport Trust initiative called Project Ability. Project Ability aims to ensure that there are sporting opportunities for young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) as well as providing training to schools, individuals and local organisations and establishing and advertising links with multi-sport and sport specific inclusive clubs.
As the Project Ability lead school, Friars works with both Primary and Secondary Special Schools, Mainstream Schools and DSP units across the county co-ordinating a competition calendar of a wide variety of sports, proving support, advice and training and promoting inclusion within the county.
Here are some quotes from the pupils and teachers directly involved in the work we do a Friars through Project Ability:
“We always value the support given by Friars School and enjoy working with them” (Teacher from Rowan Gate Special School).
“All the staff and children involved in Project Ability have been overwhelmed by the successes we have seen. The opportunities to visit and play against other schools has been so valuable I would urge any school to take part.” (Teacher from Kingsthorpe Grove Primary School).
“This is the first time I have ever won anything” (Pupil from Northgate – Sportshall Athletics Competition).
“I’ve had a brilliant time and would like to come again” (Pupil from Corby Business Academy – Archery Competition).
Friars feel sporting competition is a valuable experience for pupils and each year we aim to provide as many pupils as possible with the opportunity to compete against other schools. In 2011-2012 52% of our pupils competed in sporting fixtures against other schools and in 2012-2013 we improved this figure by giving 68% the opportunity. We provide competitions in a number of different sports to support the different needs of all our pupils mainly through Project Ability as well as a local Special School Football and Basketball League and numerous friendly fixtures against local Special and Mainstream Schools.
The competitions run through Project Ability progress into the Northamptonshire School Games where pupils from Friars compete for Wellingborough and East Northants against the other districts in the county.
Extra-curricular and O.S.H.L.
The PE Department at Friars offers pupils the chance to participate in a wide range of out-of-hours activities. These activities are aimed at all ability levels and are designed to accommodate for school team and leisure members. All pupils at the school will have the opportunity to access one or more of the extra-curricular activities.
Attending after-school clubs is a great opportunity for pupils to socially engage with a variety of pupils from different year groups and classes as well as further developing their fundamental and sport specific skills from curriculum lessons.
At Friars we are very lucky to have a brand new Fitness Suite on site for pupils to access during curriculum time as well as within lunch time and after school clubs.