The over-riding philosophy of Physical Education at St James is one of opportunity and inclusive participation. The core curriculum gives the pupils the best possible Physical Education but we understand that each pupil will have very different needs and interests. It is important that each pupil has the chance at St James to find a sport that they will truly love and take with them to university and beyond. Due to this the Physical Education Department put on a series of different sports as part of the core curriculum, that take place on Friday afternoons from Year 9 upwards.
These ‘Friday Options’ are taught by experienced and enthusiastic coaches and instructors and give the pupils the opportunity to try out as many as 21 different sports during their careers at St James. Sports range from basketball to rowing, mountain biking to squash and the pupil body is regularly consulted on which sports they would like to see added to the programme.
In addition to the core curriculum and the ‘Friday Options’ programme, the school runs an extensive extra-curricular programme with sessions before school, at lunchtimes, after school and at the weekends. At the moment there are clubs in archery, climbing, Tae Kwon Do, open water swimming, sailing and rowing. Many of these clubs will be working towards a major project such as the Climbing Club’s Alpine Expedition and the Open Water Swimming Club’s challenge of crossing the English Channel.
Athletics takes place at the Brunel University Track in Uxbridge and is coached by qualified Athletics Coaches. Pupils are given the opportunity to develop their skills in one or more events, often in preparation for the Regional and National Competitions.
The Basketball sessions are run at the Spelthorne Leisure Centre in Knowle Green and are run by experienced Basketball coaches. Pupils learn the skills and tactics needed to play the game to prepare them for fixtures against local schools. The U13 basketball team are currently ISA National silver medal holders.
Strength and Conditioning
The school Strength and Conditioning suite is used for the Strength and Conditioning Friday Option where pupils learn safe and effective ways to improve their fitness levels. Many pupils use this as an opportunity to complete extra sport specific training for their specialist sport, whilst others look to improve their base levels of fitness and health.
Judo takes place on the sprung floor of the schools Moot Hall and is taught by extremely experienced and qualified Judo instructors. Pupils learn the key techniques and important skills needed to work their way through the various grades of belt, eventually becoming proficient enough to compete in the House competition and competition against other schools.
Mountain Biking takes place at Swinley Forest where pupils use the graded trails to test their courage and skill on two wheels. Whilst there is no formal instruction, pupils are supervised and advised by highly experienced Mountain Bikers and cycle under strict safety conditions.
Kayaking takes place primarily on the schools lake where lessons are conducted by highly qualified instructors. Pupils learn the necessary skills to be safe both on still and moving water and work their way through the British Canoe Association award scheme.
Fencing takes place in the schools refectory and is taught by highly qualified and experienced instructors. Pupils get the opportunity to experience the Foil, the Epee and the Sabre, learning the basics in a controlled and safe environment before testing their skills in the House fencing tournament.
Squash takes place at the Cannons Squash centre in Richmond where pupils are taught in ability graded groups by highly qualified instructors. Pupils develop their generic racket skills and tactics and learn how to apply them in competitive environments. Each term concludes with a highly competitive House competition.
The Golf lessons are taught by PGA instructors at the David Lloyd Golf course in Hampton. Pupils learn and refine all the core golfing techniques of Driving, Chipping, Putting and all the various rescue shots. The more accomplished players take part in inter school competition.
Wakeboarding is run on a social level at the John Battleday Water ski Centre in Chertsey. Although no formal instruction is given, pupils learn through trial and error learning and through advice given by experienced Wakeboarders.
Badminton runs during the Friday afternoon lesson, at Spelthorne Leisure Centre. Pupils have the opportunity to hone their skills during high-tempo lessons before competing in the inter-house tournament.