Categories
2022 Blogs Junior Senior Sixth Form Sports

Why is sport such an essential aspect of schooling?

As well as being Head of Religion and Philosophy, Zak leads our digital vision. He was instrumental in developing our excellent online learning offering during lockdown, much to the relief of our parents, and is now leading the roll out of our school device programme.

Why is sport such an essential aspect of schooling?

As well as being Head of Religion and Philosophy, Zak leads our digital vision. He was instrumental in developing our excellent online learning offering during lockdown, much to the relief of our parents, and is now leading the roll out of our school device programme.

It’s a well-known fact that participating in exercise and sports is beneficial to our overall health and well-being. In the UK, the importance of sport is taught to us from a very young age. In fact, for many, their first encounter with sport would have been during their school experience. Be it mainstream education, grammar schools or private schools, sport is a big, and important, part of the curriculum. Sports such as rugby, cricket, football, tennis, netball, hockey, and athletics, are available to students throughout their time in education.

Sport does not just impact our physical well-being, however. For this reason, in 2019 the Government published a School Sport and Activity Action Plan that dictates schools in the UK must ensure that pupils in their care have access to 30 minutes of exercise a day. This article will examine the impact of sport on pupils and why it’s such an essential aspect of schooling.

Sport and emotional wellbeing
In recent years, the UK has seen a significant rise in the number of children suffering from mental health problems. From anxiety to depression, the UK schooling system is constantly having to deal with issues of mental health in their students.

A pupil’s involvement in sport, however, has been proven to increase their emotional wellbeing, leading to a more effective educational experience. But how does it achieve this?

To begin with, exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins are more commonly known as the happiness hormone, and for good reason. It’s proven that the involvement in sport and physical activity positively impacts the brain, reducing depression and anxiety.

Sport also increases the flow of oxygen to the brain. This not only refreshes the mind, but it also reduces pupils’ stress levels and makes learning and participating in the classroom easier.

Sport and student social skills
As well as having a positive impact on the individual, participation in sports such as football, rugby, and netball, also develop the overall social skills of the student body. This is achieved as students are encouraged to work together in a stress-free environment.

Participation in sport allows students to develop their communication skills. Working together towards a common goal allows students to learn to communicate their ideas in a concise and friendly manner to their fellow teammates. It also teaches students the importance of listening to others as they convey their thoughts and ideas within the team.

Team sports, such as those taught in physical education classes in school, are also valuable in creating a less selfish student body as it teaches them to think of how they can help their fellow teammates and how their fellow teammates can help them. These social skills are then carried over into the classroom, allowing all students the chance to participate in classroom discussions with both their teacher and fellow students.

Health benefits
Perhaps the most obvious reason that sport is essential to schools in the UK is that it allows for the creation of a healthier student body.

The 2021 obesity report shows that the UK is facing an obesity crisis, with over half of its population being considered to be medically obese. By ensuring that students in schools have at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day, schools are working towards creating a fitter generation and reducing the risk of their pupils suffering from obesity later in their lives.

Sport is also vital for encouraging the growth of healthy bones and allows muscles, tendons, and ligaments to develop strength. As well as direct health impacts, sport also reduces the risk of chronic muscular tension such as headaches or back aches. This, in turn, leads to greater concentration in the classroom which translates directly into better grades.

Sport improves academic achievement
One of the biggest benefits of having students participate in sport is that it directly improves their overall academic achievement. Students who participate in sport are developing their problem-solving skills in a more hands-on, physical manner. For some students, for whom typical classroom learning may not be the best way for them to learn, sport allow them the opportunity to put their problem-solving skills into practice.

As mentioned earlier, participation in sport also increases levels of concentration in the classroom by reducing stress. This has a direct impact on overall grades as the healthy outlet of energy makes way for improved focus when teachers are teaching.

Sport also increases overall memory function. Aerobic exercise has been proven to boost the size of the hippocampus which is the part of the brain which involves verbal memory and learning. This directly improves the rate of which students in a classroom are able to learn and digest new information, in turn directly increasing their academic performance significantly.

The improvement sport makes to social skills also means that students will find it easier to participate in classroom discussions, which have been proven to increase understanding and directly impacts on achievement. Involvement in sport also increases inclusivity within the classroom meaning that, not only will individual grades begin to improve, but as will the overall academic progress of the student body.

Sports and leadership skills in the classroom
As mentioned earlier, sport improves students’ communication skills. It allows them an opportunity to practise their communication in both direction and in listening and taking direction. This translates into the classroom by allowing students to apply the skills learnt in their team sports in listening to their teachers and communicating any issues they may be facing with their work.

Sport has also been proven to teach students to make quick and informed decisions. This reduces the pressure felt by students when facing questions and testing of their knowledge in other areas of their academic life. By learning to make decisions in a sports team, students can take the knowledge into the classroom and use it to try and work through issues and make informed decisions on when to ask for help.

Ollie is a QEH 'lifer', as he joined QEH Juniors in Year 3, eleven years ago.  It's been great to watch his development through the years, both on and off the pitch.

Ollie signs for the Bears!

Huge congratulations to Mark who has joined the top 2% of the population as a member of Mensa. In typical modest fashion, Mark sat the test on a recent weekend and didn't mention it to any of his teachers!

Mark joins Mensa!

As well as being Head of Religion and Philosophy, Zak leads our digital vision. He was instrumental in developing our excellent online learning offering during lockdown, much to the relief of our parents, and is now leading the roll out of our school device programme.

Year 13 Pre-University and Enrichment Programme launched

Wednesday 27 January sees people all over the world marking Holocaust Memorial Day 2021 and QEH students will be joining in with a special presentation during form time.

Students Mark Holocaust Memorial Day

On my first day of Senior School it felt like I was let into a new family.
Current Pupil
WordPress PopUp