We were delighted to name Bishop Hatfield Girls’ School the Winner of the 2019/20 Major Award.
Isabelle Fautrero-Sayer (School Development Officer) coordinated an excellent bid for an England Cricket Board (ECB) approved training and coaching pitch, cage, specialist equipment and skilled teacher-training in cricket coaching.
Introducing a new skill or subject to a school is always a strong foundation for a bid to us so the application was off to a good start. Isabelle successfully addressed the majority of the criteria we use to assess the bids. To begin with, she made sure to detail the wide range of pupils both in and outside of school who would benefit:
Should we secure this funding, we will approach local community cricket clubs to offer our facilities. We would also be able to offer the use of our facilities to the 4 feeder primary schools that are within walking distance of our grounds. Cricket could be run by them as an additional option during summer months. We could also involve our Sports Leaders to help with these
We have already made contact with the Hertfordshire branch of ‘This Girl Can’ (the campaign developed by Sports England) to offer an annual Parent/Daughter cricket match session as part of their June programme to get girls/women active and they are looking forward to getting a lot of local girls involved in this event.
With a pitch suitable for both junior and senior games available in Hatfield, the girls and women teams of the closest cricket clubs (such as St Albans and Knebworth) will be able to use our facilities in the evening and at weekends for training or matches. This will grow the interest in the game amongst local girls and our pupils.
We have also been contacted by Herts Cricket who want to harness our project to increase participation in girls cricket at secondary school level and are willing to providing some free teacher resources and online support, organise some Year 8 & 10 team competitions in the summer and help us with some potential cricket leadership and coaching opportunities in 2020/21.
The academic need and benefits were also emphasised e.g:
Successfully introduce Cricket into the KS3 & 4 curriculum (up to competing standards) and as an enrichment club with a view to helping pupils achieve higher practical grades at GCSE level and uncover talent.
The Department of Education has removed rounders from the list of accepted GCSE PE activities, and therefore the school proposes to introduce cricket as a team sport.
Details of the benefits to specific groups of pupils were also given e.g (my bullets for quotations from the application).
- Provide pupils from all backgrounds and abilities with equal opportunities to try and participate in Cricket
- With 13.4% of KS3 girls classed as Pupil Premium and 20.4% in KS4, we also believe that it is important to consider that disadvantaged students may not receive the same opportunities as others to take up, practise and excel at a sport.
- 19.5% of our pupils are from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic origins where cricket plays a significant part of their culture.
- Motivate girls to adopt a regular active lifestyle to carry into their adult lives
- Equal opportunities for girls to participate and excel in a male dominated sport
- We know we have some enthusiastic cricketers who belong to local clubs including two U13 and U15 Hertfordshire County players in Years 9 and 10. At present, they have not played Cricket at school due to lack of equipment.
We were also told of the wider range of benefits eg:
We also would like to encourage them to explore additional roles other than performance, including coaching and/or official roles such as umpires.
We currently have 70 pupils taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze and Silver Awards in our school. We run the scheme every year and strive to make it accessible to as many students as possible. Offering cricket as an after-school club will allow a wider range of girls to address the physical part of the four sections that they are required to complete. It will make it easier for families to support their daughters in taking up this valuable scheme as the club will run on site, alleviating transport issues for working parents.
We are currently seeing increasing pressure on our resources to deal with the mental health of the young people under our care. More options to increase their physical activity, encouraging them to be ambitious in their life choices and to believe in their worth (‘This Girl Can’) will help the girls manage their own stress level, which in turn benefits our 110 members of staff and their own wellbeing.
There were other elements that helped this bid win, some of which were introduced or expanded upon in the extension form. eg
We have been in discussions with Hertfordshire Cricket who highlighted that Hatfield is one of the only major towns in Hertfordshire that has not got a cricket club. Hatfield’s demographics with a large BAME population and a rise in minority ethnic groups make it an ideal candidate for positioning our school as a potential cricket ‘hub’ for the area.
Our congratulations to BHGS – we can’t wait to get some feedback and photos of the new cricketers in action once the current situation is over.