Education trust secures funding which could reshape PE curriculum at 13 schools
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An education trust which runs 13 schools in Norfolk and Waveney has secured more than £25,000 to enhance its PE curriculum.
Inspiration Trust has been granted £26,800 from Sport England, to be distributed across its five primary schools, seven secondary schools and sixth form.
The money will fund professional development of staff, run wellbeing projects and help develop strategies to make sure every children can benefit from sport and physical activity.
Staff say the intended outcome is to position sport “at the heart” of the curriculum, ensuring pupils take part in the recommended 30+ minutes of physical exercise per day.
Graeme Richardson, Thetford Academy’s curriculum leader for health and wellbeing, was the project lead and pioneer behind the campaign to secure the grant.
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He said: “This is a fantastic amount of money to be invested in developing PE strategies. We’re looking to freshen up the curriculum and re-inspire students.
“Part of the project to secure the grant involved research, which found that traditional PE sports are just not capturing the amount of interest we’d like.
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“We want to encourage activities that our students enjoy. It’s important to establish a good relationship with physical activity that they can take forward into later life.”
Among the activities set to be introduced is boxercise, which Inspiration Trust has found to be particularly popular with Year 10 girls.
The trust said this was an age group it had previously “struggled to engage”, and that funding would be used to support staff training.
Providing further detail on what changes might look like, Mr Richardson said he was working with Youth Sport Trust to give students the “greatest benefits” from PE and schools.
He added: “Each school within the trust will run a project around mental wellbeing for all age groups. Our teachers recognise students being physically active improves academic performance.
“Thetford Academy is going to focus on vulnerable students, driving to improve self-esteem and build confidence. These were areas flagged as requiring improvement, and impact on personal development outside of sport.
“We’re going to implement the plan by training Year 12 and 13 students to be mentors for younger year groups.”
Adjustments to the curriculum at Inspiration Trust schools will take effect early next year.