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St. Thomas of Canterbury Primary School, Walsall

St Thomas Canterbury Catholic School

In God's Love We Flourish
In Amore Dei Floremus

Life at St. Thomas of Canterbury Primary School, Walsall Life at St. Thomas of Canterbury Primary School, Walsall Life at St. Thomas of Canterbury Primary School, Walsall Life at St. Thomas of Canterbury Primary School, Walsall Life at St. Thomas of Canterbury Primary School, Walsall Life at St. Thomas of Canterbury Primary School, Walsall

Our Catholic Mission is to enable every child to have an active mind, a sense of empathy and compassion, aspiration and ambition so that they become what God calls them to be.

PE & Sport

PE

PE at St Thomas’s provides pupils with opportunities to gain fundamental motor skills, compete in sporting activities and enables them to become physically confident. We strive to deliver high -quality physical education which enables children to develop physical fitness and contributes to their mental wellbeing through a balanced and embedded PE curriculum. All learners follow a programme which develops core areas of the PE curriculum.  Games, gymnastics and dance form part of the P.E. experiences for the children. In Key Stage 2 the children receive swimming instruction. Our pupils revisit a core of skills not only each year but also from sport to sport.  These include the ability to throw, catch, outwit, evade, fitness (knowledge and use of fitness).

We provide children with a range of physical activities so that they can utilise transferable skills using traditional sports as a basis. We offer a huge variety of extra-curricular sporting activities to enrich our curriculum and equip children with the necessary skills to enter a vast amount of competitions so they have the opportunity to be part of trials, training sessions and then to represent their school at a high level. They compete in Local School Games, Catholic Partnership tournaments often winning and subsequently representing the county. We believe competing in sport builds character and helps to embed values and learner attributes such as determination, passion, honesty, self-belief, teamwork and respect.

Sports

St Thomas of Canterbury has a tradition of competitive sports and will continue to do so, as we believe that all children should experience a competitive environment when they are ready.

The school adopts a fluid ABC Team strategy, which allows for more children than ever to challenge themselves to improve, whilst giving them more opportunities to compete against other schools at a level that is appropriate for their own stage of development.

There are many benefits to this system, not least the chance for children to gain confidence competing in events at a suitable level. Many children who join out-of-school sports clubs are used to this environment but there also many children who do not get this opportunity very often, therefore we provide a high number of these opportunities for them. Many of the children, who are not used to this environment, show understandable signs of nerves when they first start but we encourage parents to support their child in this development as they always gain enormous amounts from their experiences – this allows the children a chance to be nervous (in a good way) and work through these feelings in their own ways to really learn about themselves. Also, the children at school relish the opportunity to be a team captain (and vice-captain) and this allows them to communicate effectively with children they are comfortable with and learn valuable leadership skills.

Through the number of sports we partake in and our team structure, it fully allows the most gifted sportsmen and sportswomen to flourish and improve so that their development is not hindered. We are confident that we have talented children here in school and that with the right guidance can go on to have professional careers within sports. This is especially highlighted in our exceptional talents programme, where children who have been highlighted as gifted in their particular field, will be found opportunities to use their talents in out-of-school clubs (e.g. Athletics at the renowned Alexander Stadium where professional athletes are trained and Birchfield Harriers are based.) The school (with governors’ approval) funds this development even after the pupils have left the school, where we possibly can.

No sport is out-of-bounds for the children here at St Thomas of Canterbury and our sports are not limited to the Walsall area either. We have competed in everything from the classics like football, cricket and rugby to the slightly more unusual sports such as kabaddi and dodgeball - this gives our children the chance to find the sport they love the most and as enjoyment of sports is still the number one outcome for every child at St Thomas of Canterbury.

We enter our children in many Change4Life competitions, which are designed specifically for children who have not yet represented the school in a competitive environment, giving an equal opportunity to all children regardless of their ability or circumstances. At St Thomas’ we approach these events exactly the same way we do with all our events with the children being properly prepared, captained and bonded as a team. We have found these events to be especially inspirational to many of the children who have taken part and are pleased that so many children have the desire to represent the school proudly and give their all.

Swimming

St Thomas of Canterbury is committed to fulfilling the Nation Curriculum's expectations that all children leave primary education being able to swim at least 25m safely and confidently, using a range of strokes and techniques.

Currently, our children go swimming at Bloxwich Active Living Centre, where we have provision in place to allow the children to make sustained progress in their lessons. Whilst we have limited sessions available to us, Year 4 are the designated year that goes swimming each year and a catch-up program runs alongside this for children in Year 5.

Although the school is committed to ensuring that children receive the highest possible chance of success, we encourage all parents to utilise their local swimming centres to help with their child's progress in swimming safely and confidently.

(click to see further information from Bloxwich Active Living Centre)

If parents are wishing to enquire about lessons at BALC, they can email their questions to: swimlessonenquiries@walsall.gov.uk