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Thatcham's Spurcroft School named lockdown physical activity heroes

School one of 29 winners in Get Berkshire Active awards

John Herring

John Herring

john.herring@newburynews.co.uk

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01635 886633

Thatcham's Spurcroft School named lockdown physical activity heroes

A THATCHAM school has been recognised for its efforts to promote healthy minds and lifestyles.

Spurcroft Primary School was one of 29 Berkshire Lockdown Physical Activity Heroes in the Get Berkshire Active (GBA) awards.

This year’s awards focussed on individuals and organisations who made a positive impact in Berkshire during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Spurcroft was recognised from more than 70 nominations across the county.

PE coordinator Helen Thompson said the award was amazing and she felt “really proud, the recognition for the school and the work we are doing to support those children”.

“To be one of 29 was quite impressive,” she said.

The school used GBA Virtual School Games resources to promote physical activity to children, parents and teachers during lockdown.

A physical active survey run by Mrs Thompson asked about children’s wellbeing and how physically active they were throughout lockdown.

Parents were also asked if they could access resources and if they had enough equipment at home to keep them active.

The responses prompted the purchase of equipment from the school’s PE budget for families less fortunate than others.

Spurcroft also made weekly phone calls to families in receipt of pupil premium about resources.

Mrs Thompson said: “As the lockdown continued and more children were in school, we had a combination of families taking part at home and the bubble class teachers were also delivering the challenges, ensuring participation for all whilst maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

“This helped the children in school to remain active and encouraged them to work collaboratively.

“We were able to provide extra PE sessions to engage the children and raise awareness to them of the importance of staying active.”

Weekly wellbeing assemblies have focused on looking after mental health and weekly classes led by pupils shared strategies for managing feelings.

Mrs Thompson said the pupil voice scheme had already shown results, with children talking more about their feelings and the strategies they have used to help them.

Staff have also been given a selection of active games for bubble year groups at lunchtime.

Mrs Thompson said this had made lunchtimes more structured for children who can find the playground difficult and resulted in more children engaging in active play.

The programme supported Spurcroft’s values of teamwork, creative thinking, kindness, self-belief, responsibility and ambition to ensure everyone had opportunities to emphasise the importance of being physically active.

Deputy headteacher Jo Philp said: “The mental and physical wellbeing of our children is always a priority, but particularly in this current situation where restrictions have been having an impact on them physically, socially and emotionally.

“Mrs Thompson has been amazing finding new and creative ways to support our children with their physical health and remove as many barriers as possible for the children in school and at home to ensure they can still remain active and feel part of the community.”

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