We were very impressed by Bushey's PE Major Award bid and so, when they were pipped to the post by Presdales, we decided to grant them one of our optional Highly Commended Awards of £1,000.
Their bid was for a large number of top-quality, indoor and outdoor table tennis tables and equipment. The sport is very popular at the school and they have been in the national top 10 in a number of age-groups until recently.
As well as expanding the PE options and exam course specialities, Natalie Williams (Subject Leader in PE), also made a great case for the activity helping SEN pupils, including their students on Educational Health Care plans. As Natalie wrote:
...the opportunity to play table tennis for these students where there is less noise and not as much team play would be amazing.
Table tennis offers all pupils the opportunity to become active and engaged and would be especially helpful for SEN pupils at break and lunch time when other areas of school are very crowded.
We have previously used the Green House table tennis project to motivate and engage disaffected pupils and those who have struggled to follow school rules.
Although obviously disappointed not to have won the Major Award, Natalie was very pleased to inform us that the Highly Commended prize will enable them to buy 5 new indoor tables facilitate a lot more singles play in lessons and clubs.
In November 2019, as part of our follow up procedure, Natalie told us....
We have held a very successful table tennis tournament in school to raise money for our chosen charity. The GCSE students have now got access to a greater number of tables in lesson time so get more time practising and this is having a positive impact on GCSE grades. Some students who found team sports challenging or uninteresting are now taking part in more practical lessons and enjoying PE more.