Lowbrook Academy pupils join in with Sports Week from home

The wonder of modern technology meant the whole of Lowbrook Academy could participate in the school’s most anticipated annual event last week.

Despite only select year groups being on the premises because of the coronavirus crisis, sports week, culminating with sports day on Friday, July 3, still went ahead with the whole school involved.

Executive principal Dave Rooney said: “People look forward to that week all year and it was just going to be another week of home learning, but it wasn’t, we managed to bring it alive.”

Mr Rooney explained that before the races commence on Sports Day children take part in about 16 traditional activities, but this year they were given a twist.

“We adapted all our activities so they could be done at home,” he said.

The javelin throw became a shoe throw and instead of hurdles children were asked to jump over things they could find at home and in the garden.

So that pupils knew what technique to use for each activity, and how to earn points for their house teams, instructional videos which were uploaded to the Lowbrook Academy YouTube page.

Children then carried out the activities through-out the week and submitted their results.

“We’ve had fantastic participation and home learning right throughout, and sports week was no different,” said Mr Rooney.

As well as the pre-recorded videos, PE lessons were live streamed via the school’s YouTube channel, and so too was the year six tug-of-war and the whole school Zumba-style workout.

“As far as sports day goes, there’s still children at home who haven’t had that opportunity to come into school and it’s been amazing to involve them,” he said.

“It’s great you can still have healthy competition and build house spirit during a difficult time, and it bought the community together.”

Mr Rooney hails from New Zealand and introduced the Haka, a ceremonial challenge in Maori culture, to the Lowbrook Academy sports day more than a decade ago.

He said this year’s performance was ‘a special one’ because ‘our challenge was to the coronavirus itself’.

“They put it out there and then they went and said ‘right, we’ve done that, we’re going to go and compete, we’re not going to let you stop us’. It was brilliant.”

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