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Pupils slide into new sport at Ellesmere Primary School

Ellesmere Primary School are staying on target in their mission to ensure children are not denied inclusive and competitive sport due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ellesmere Primary School pupils kurling
Ellesmere Primary School pupils kurling

The Elson Road school is pulling out all the stops to keep everybody safe from the virus, but social distancing measures and other precautions present an extra challenge when it comes to physical education.

Headteacher Stuart Roberts and his staff believe sport and exercise play a vital role in pupils’ health and wellbeing, and have got creative in their drive to keep it as an important part of their curriculum. Now Ellesmere are using new age kurling – an adapted indoor sport which is perfect for all pupils regardless of age or ability – to ensure the action continues, and are even planning a virtual inter-school competition. 

PE Lead, Hazel Adams, said: “All children at this school have the opportunity to thrive in PE, no matter what their background is or what their physical ability is. Every session is catered for individuals where needed, and no child is left out. Physical activity helps with social skills, fitness, mental health and general wellbeing – there are so many benefits.  

“We are not able to get out of the school to go to competitions at the moment, so we have introduced the virtual new age kurling and adapted the rules slightly.  No matter what age or ability the children are, they are able to use those stones and be successful with it. They are really enjoying it.” 

New age kurling is a form of the original ice-based curling game, but adapted so it can be played indoors on any smooth, flat surface. Participants aim to slide different coloured ‘stones’ from one end of a court and land it on a target at the other, earning points according to their accuracy. It has proven a big hit with children, who can all take part with ease due to the stones being mounted on little balls and the variety of different ways in which competitors are permitted to push them off. The upcoming competition will see schools record their results separately and then share them to determine placings. 

Ellesmere Primary is part of the North West Academies Trust (NWAT), which also runs several high-performing schools across Cheshire. All NWAT schools have a philosophy of making sport and a healthy lifestyle a priority, and it is fundamental to everything they do. 

Mr Roberts said: “We like to make sure everyone can get involved in all our activities, particularly sports but also in the classroom, to make sure everyone can access the full range of our curriculum.  ‘No child left behind’ is one of the things I say a lot. We want to make sure every child is able to reach their full potential and there are no barriers to their learning. The school is going from strength to strength.”  

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