As a school that encourages exceptional levels of physical activity, we provide opportunities for all pupils to represent the school in all major sports, whilst supplementing that with an enriching minor sports programme. This incorporates sporting skills and competition, whether against other schools or internal competitions between the four Houses. Sport is a way that our children face challenges, develop their character and learn to play effectively within a team.
We take full advantage of using our full size astro turf pitch as well as multiple grass pitches.
In the Michaelmas Term, boys play rugby and enjoy competitive matches in all age groups against a host of local schools such as The Dragon, Moulsford, Caldicott and St John’s Beaumont. We also host our own tournaments where several schools compete together. Girls also have the chance to play rugby as part of the Saturday Enrichment Programme, with a girls’ team visiting Oxford Harlequins, where they are coached by a team of professionals.
Girls play hockey as their main sport in the Michaelmas Term, with matches against local rivals, St. Andrew’s as well as matches against Lambrook School, Pinewood and Rupert House. There are also opportunities for boys to take part in hockey sessions as part of the Saturday Enrichment Programme.
The boys and girls at Under 11, Under 12 and Under 13 have the opportunities to enter the IAPS, English Schoolboys and County Football tournaments during this term and preparation for this is built into the very successful activities programme.
In the Lent Term, girls play netball. Our strong relationships with other prep schools in the local area mean that we are frequently invited to tournaments that enable them to encounter a range of abilities and experience. Our girls are taught to play in different positions and all of them are selected for teams throughout the term. Girls also play competitive football, including reaching the national finals of the ISFA and IAPS tournaments at Under 13 and Under 11.
Boys play a combination of football and rugby sevens. Football is the main sport played in the Lent term and as with rugby, every boy represents the school in competitive matches. There are opportunities to play in local teams alongside these school matches. The boys take part in competitive competitions for rugby sevens such as Rosslyn Park and the Northern Sevens at Stonyhurst. We also co-host football tournaments, for example, with the Vale of White Horse and our own tournaments at Under 8 and Under 9. Our Under 11 boys are the current district champions for the last three years at 9-a-side.
In the Summer Term boys and girls both play cricket against many of the same schools they have competed against in the other sports. Boys play matches of twenty overs a side of hard ball cricket, whilst girls play a combination of paired overs cricket and mixed hard ball cricket with the boys. Boys and girls have reached very high standards, and pupils of both sexes have played representative cricket for their county.
Alongside cricket, there are opportunities in the Summer Termfor our pupils to play tennis on our all-weather courts and to compete for the school in athletics, as well as taking part in Sports Day for their House at the end of the year.
- Swimming: Throughout the year pupils have the opportunity to swim. Swimming brings immeasurable enjoyment to our children, it builds their stamina, self-confidence and life skills, notjust in the pool but in all areas of sport and day to day life at school. The strongest swimmers train as part of our Swim Squad in our 25 metre indoor pool and take part in galas. There is also an opportunity each year for swimmers to represent the school in the IAPS qualifying swimming relays. House competitions take place where pupils can compete internally in relays in the Summer Term. As well as the more rigorous swim squads, pupils can also build their confidence, core strength and technique in after school swim activities.
- Triathlons (Years 3 to 8): Pupils from all year groups take part in a summer Triathlon competition, either individual legs or for the whole Triathlon (swimming, cycling and running).
- Our After School Activity Programme gives pupils the chance to try out a wide range of other sporting activities, such as Judo, Basketball, Cricket Nets, Futsal, Badminton, Fencing, Short Tennis and Volleyball. Pupils can join our successful Gymnastics club on Friday afternoons.
By the time our pupils leave for senior school, they have fantastic levels of fitness, they are skilful and determined, understand the importance of playing their part within a team, and have grown in character as a result of wins and losses. We believe these experiences and sport in every sense, is a vital part of our pupil’s development and carries across their school life and beyond.
To find out more about our Sports department, follow our Twitter account: @OPS_Sports