School children across Sheffield encouraged to stay active as they compete in online sporting competition
Schoolchildren across Sheffield are being encouraged to stay active as they compete in a sports day with a twist.
The Points Learning Network, which was established following the government's decision to stop funding the School Sport Partnership, works with schools across Sheffield to develop and increase physical activity, improve PE provision, as well as developing teacher knowledge and confidence.
Every year it hosts the ‘Points Learning Network Games’ in which schools within the network compete against each other but due to Covid-19 this had to be cancelled.
Determined to not let the pandemic get in the way Andy Staley, of the Points Learning Network, has launched a competition across Sheffield to discover who has been the most active school over the past two weeks.
Andy, who also works as a Schools Games Organiser at Westfield School, said: “There are a lot of resources going out but actually there are not any competitions – each school has their own virtual competitions they might send out but there aren’t any school versus school ones at the moment – and that’s where we come in.
“We’ve got a network of schools where we can organise this and put on a virtual competition.
“Since starting on Monday morning we’ve had a great uptake from infant, secondary, primaries, mums and dads and grandparents, and I even got a video sent to me of a granddad in full personal protective equipment (PPE) doing the activities what I sent in a hospital somewhere.
“It’s a bit of fun and to get schools, but also parents, teachers, and children engaged and to bring out that competitive nature because it’s quite a boring time at the moment.”
Children are tasked with completing five activities at home – speed bounce, star jumps, balance on one leg, plank, and throwing task – and have 30 seconds for each.
The more they jump or throw, or the longer they stay holding a plank or balance, the more points they achieve.
Families and teachers are also encouraged to get involved to gain points for their children's’ school.
Once competitors have completed an activity they are asked to upload their score online which will be added to the overall school score.
Andy added: “Children love competitions. Every night I do the leaderboard so they can see where they are in relation to other schools. There will be an infant school winner, with Foundation Stage up to Year 2, a junior school winner, with Year 3 to Year 6, and a secondary school winner.
“I’m also going to have an award for parents and techers. I’m getting results sent to me every 20 to 30 minutes at the moment.
“The Points Learning Network works with 35 schools in Sheffield branching out from the Westfield area right up to Yewlands and Chaucer and everything in between so they’re all encouraged to get involved.”
Results will be announced on May 25 and will be posted on the @PointsLN Twitter page, where you can also find the leaderboard and information about the competition.