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New Road Primary accredited as a Centre of Excellence

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Posted 3rd March 2023

New Road Primary School in Sowerby Bridge are celebrating after being accredited as a Centre of Excellence for Physical Activity.

The school has achieved the status in the ‘Before and after school clubs’ category, thanks to its wide ranging and innovative approach to providing opportunities for pupils and their families to be active.

One of the most impactful initiatives has been the introduction of ‘Family Fitness’ sessions that take place once a week after school. The school had incorporated physical activity into daily tasks for pupils at home during the pandemic, and noted that children were more engaged and had more enjoyment in the tasks that had parental involvement. Using this insight, the Family Fitness sessions were established and are still attended regularly by families 18 months later.

Club activities are rotated and can include boxercise sessions and using equipment such as kettlebells, resistance bands and steps, all set to music. The school Sports Coach leads the sessions having already introduced the children to the equipment in their class PE lessons.

Families who stand to benefit most from the activity are invited to attend, and through consultation have highlighted the positive impact on their child’s mental and physical health.

“We are all delighted to hear we have been awarded Centre of Excellence status for our Before and After School clubs provision, especially as the first school in Calderdale,” said Sharon Harwood, headteacher at New Road Primary.

“The children are at the heart of everything we do at New Road and the team are dedicated in creating a variety of activities and experiences for our children to engage and participate in.

“We have fantastic support from all our school community so launching our Family Fitness sessions was a perfect opportunity for us to bring family members together in a unique way.

“We are passionate about promoting the importance of active lifestyles here at New Road and this recognition reinforces our determination to continue on our active school journey.’’

Alex Ogden, PE and School Sport Manager at Yorkshire Sport Foundation, commented: “It is so important that we try to expose children and young people to as many fun and inclusive forms of physical activity from an early age, helping them to build their physical literacy and motivate them to lead active healthy lives.

“Before and after school club provision is a perfect opportunity for schools to do this. Whether it’s through their sustainable family fitness sessions or through clubs such as outdoor photography, bushcraft and active board games, this is a school that is doing everything it can to support all pupils to find their joy of movement.”

Active Calderdale are delighted that New Road Primary School have been recognised as a Centre of Excellence,” added Rebecca Antcliffe, Active Education Manager for Active Calderdale.

“One of Calderdale’s Creating Active Schools Champions, they embody the concept of a whole school approach and are committed to supporting pupils, parents, carers, and staff to enjoy the health benefits of being physically active.

“New Road Primary School are true Champions in their support for pupils and the wider community to be healthier and happier.”

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