Specialist Sports College Status
Biddick was designated a Specialist Sports College by The Department for Children and Family Services (DCFS) in September 1997. It was one of the first eleven schools in England to gain this distinction and joins an ever-increasing number of schools who have Specialist School status either as Technology, Language, Sport or Art Colleges. Now in it’s third phase of designation, science is an additional educational specialist area.
Our Sports College Development Plan
To become a Sports College the school had to draw up a three-year development plan to cover physical education lessons, extra-curricular time and community sport. This development plan is monitored by the DCFS to ensure that the challenging targets set by school are met.
What Is A Sports College?
Specialist schools have been established as part of the government’s drive to raise standards in education.
As a Sports College Biddick School offers unique opportunities for all pupils to develop their sporting talent and potential within a broad and balanced curriculum that places great emphasis on the development of the whole pupil.
Being a Sports College does not mean that sport dominates the curriculum. In fact the number of PE lessons each week is no more than the time that is recommended by the DCFS. The subjects studied at Biddick School ensure a broad and balanced curriculum for all pupils.
Biddick School’s Aim As A Sports College
This is to raise the levels of performance for all pupils, from the absolute beginner to the international performer All pupils are encouraged and supported to enable them to achieve their full potential.
How Is This Being Achieved?
Extra Funding And Improved Facilities
Biddick School had to raise £100,000 through sponsorship and donations. This was matched by the government and had to be used for a building project. The school now receives money each year from DCFS to enable our Sports College targets to be met.
Working With Primary Schools
One member of the PE department spends a large part of his week supporting the teaching of physical education in local primary schools.
Working With The Local Community
A significant part of the school’s work is in the local community. This involves partnerships with other schools, the City of Sunderland’s Sports Development Unit, local, regional governing bodies of sport, sports clubs, professional sports, universities and sporting personalities.
Extended Extra Curricular Opportunities
Much of the work as a ‘Sports College’ takes place outside of normal lessons. A wide variety of sports and activities are available to pupils of all abilities. There are extra-curricular squads, clubs and training.
More Visiting Coaches
A particular feature of the school is the work of coaching staff. These are used alongside our well-qualified physical education teachers to offer new areas of expertise or high level coaching. All of the coaches used have appropriate national governing body coaching awards and expertise in working with young people. In the past year coaches from Sunderland AFC, the Puma Tennis Centre, Newcastle Eagles basketball club, and others with qualifications in athletics, skiing, gymnastics and canoeing have provided coaching appropriate to the needs of Biddick pupils.
Expanded Competitive Opportunities
Appropriate competitive opportunities exist. This may be at any level from recreational to national or international. Biddick’s pupils are challenged to do their very best in all areas of school life and PE is no exception. High standards of sportsmanship are demanded from all. Success is not measured in terms of winning cups and trophies but in the individual achievement of each pupil striving to perform at the highest possible level.
Linking With School Clubs
Strong links have been established with many local clubs and, where appropriate, new clubs have been formed at the school. This currently applies in gymnastics, basketball, rugby and taekwondo.
As our pupils progress to the upper-school, Sports College invests in a Leadership programme designed to offer opportunities for greater responsibility in working with their peer group and in the wider community.
This work is actually initiated in year seven where pupils are encouraged to take responsibility for leading warm ups and skills practices in lessons.
In Year 10 and 11 pupils are encouraged to undertake Junior Sports Leader Award training - this national leadership programme is the first step along the coaching pathway and leads to formal qualification which is nationally recognised by employers.
Many pupils at Biddick School Sports College have undertaken this award and used the skills learned to organise festivals for pupils in our primary cluster schools. Some have undertaken National Governing Body coaching awards and assist teaching staff with after school hours clubs and activities.
Many of our young leaders have linked with and visited some of our international partner schools in Russia and Poland.
Biddick School Sports College was amongst the first schools in England to engage in Sporting Apprenticeships. Through a works base learning approach pupils from Biddick have been able to experience work as coaches, teachers and leaders across a range of sports providers in the City of Sunderland. Employers have been very pleased with the commitment of the young people involved many of whom has ‘clocked up’ over 300 hours in their sports placements.
Opportunities exist within BSSC to extend this apprenticeship post 16.