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United Sport

As part of our response to the London 2012 Olympic legacy, we have created the United Sport initiative.


Shaun Dowling, Head of Sport at United Learning, has previously worked at the Youth Sport Trust (YST) - the leading charity supporting schools to improve their PE and sport provision and to use PE and sport to raise standards across schools – and our own The Regis School. Bringing out the best in everyone through sport and PE We feel that, no matter their age, gender or background, every pupil at United Learning has an equal right to an outstanding PE and school sport experience that will set them up for life.

Therefore Shaun has been working with every school in the Group to establish how they can reach their PE and sporting goals. Whether this involves establishing effective networking with other schools, training and partnership working with external organisations such as National Governing Bodies and the YST or a more personalised support programme as appropriate, over the next year we will be establishing and implementing the best strategies to achieve this.

Follow Us @UnitedSport1

 

X-Elle

Nationally, the issue of inspiring girls into sport has been given enormous profile. Initiatives such as Sport England’s #thisgirlcan campaign and the Youth Sport Trust’s Girls Active programme are in full swing. X-Elle is part of United Learning’s contribution to this national priority.


"Developing confidence and life-skills in girls in and through sport”

 

Nationally, the issue of inspiring girls into sport has been given enormous profile. Initiatives such as Sport England’s #thisgirlcan campaign and the Youth Sport Trust’s Girls Active programme are in full swing. X-Elle is part of United Learning’s contribution to this national priority.

In February 2015, United Learning held five X-Elle days across the Group. Each day, led by four-time Olympic skier Chemmy Alcott with additional involvement of Team GB hockey star Alex Danson, involved 60 girls from across five local United Learning schools. Sessions included activity classes, acting and body confidence, healthy eating, and the drafting of pledges drawn up in partnership with Women in Sport.  Since then the 300 girls from the five days have been working hard to deliver on their pledges.

To celebrate their successes and achievements to date, we held a celebration event at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in June 2016. Over 200 of the girls from across the country came to gather for a series of awards to celebrate their individual and schools’ successes. Shoreham Academy won the X-Elle School of the Year award and Faye Smith from Sheffield Park Academy won the X-Elle Leader of the Year prize.

With additional schools working to develop X-Elle initiatives in their schools, we have met our target of reaching around 10,000 girls through this programme.  But we are not stopping there.  The new United Learning PE and Health curriculum gives schools a new opportunity to develop girls’ confidence through PE and sport, so a new set of pledges and plans will be developed in schools to continue their excellent work.

 

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On Track to Achieve


Working in partnership, United Learning and the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust have devised a new pilot programme targeted at students receiving the Pupil Premium. Based on a combination of the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust’s existing successful community programmes and United Learning’s Education with Character strand of our Framework for Excellence, On TRACK to Achieve aims to improve the educational achievement of young people aged between 14 and 19.

Four United Learning academies are being provided with dedicated support from an Athlete Mentor from Dame Kelly Holmes Trust’s ‘GiveBack’ Team. This will take the form of one to one and group mentoring for students faced with challenging personal circumstances and/or a low self-esteem and a lack of confidence. For whatever reason, they are currently underachieving in school. This progamme aims to use the power of mentoring to re-engage these young people with their learning so that their potential may be realised.

Although the pilot programme is unique to each school and even to each student within each school, the broad framework within which it sits would see the young people working towards at least one of the following outcomes:

  • T - Teachability (Young people to develop the right attitudes for learning)
  • R - Responsibility (Young people to develop skills for managing self and leading others)
  • A - Aspirations (Young people to raise aspirations and expectations on future life goals)
  • C - Character (Young people to increase their confidence, self-belief and motivation)
  • K - Knowledge (Young people to further develop their skills and knowledge).

For this pilot phase, six young people from the following northern academies have been chosen by their schools: Barnsley Academy; Salford City Academy; Sheffield Academy; and Stockport Academy. The pilot scheme will run from March through to July 2015.

 

Sports Tournaments


Over 4,000 students took part in nationally-organised United Learning events in 2015/16. These young people came from 35 of the eligible 38 schools. The southern football tournament winners in 2016 were The Regis School in the girls’ tournament and Lambeth Academy in the boys’ equivalent. 

Curriculum and Assessment

Over the past 12-18 months, the PE and sport network of United Learning have been developing a curriculum and assessment framework ready for teaching from September 2016. This follows the lead given in English and maths which began teaching a common curriculum at the start of the 2015/16 academic year.


Where do you start when charged with writing a PE curriculum for schools spread geographically across the country and straddling the state and independent sectors? A curriculum that needs to be distinctive to United Learning; flexible enough to be adopted and adapted by every secondary school regardless of context; and yet reflecting the essential national priorities for the physical and mental development of young people.

Read Part 1 here    Read Part 2 here

 

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Sports Ambassadors

The team of United Learning Sport Ambassadors are elite athletes who
all want to make a difference to the lives of young people.


Having recently recruited track star Jason Gardener to the team, our cadre includes World Champions, Olympic and international medallists, international performers and athletes who have been the best that Britain has had in their field. Some are transitioning out of their careers as professional athletes; others are very much still competing, including Alex Danson, Maddie Hinch, Lauren Steadman and Emma Wiggs who all competed at Rio 2016.

Each athlete has been linked to one of the six United Learning ‘Core Values’. Bonita Norris, for example, having been the youngest British female to climb Everest, represents our value of ‘Ambition’. When she speaks in schools she relates her journey from a non-climber to elite mountaineer stemming from her ambition “to see the curvature of the earth”. Former international athletes and Gladiators, Jenny and Wayne, on the other hand, deliver their Core Value of ‘Enthusiasm’ through fun active, practical workshops with students.

Feedback from the Sport Ambassador visits to our schools has been incredible, from students and staff alike. We know that they have been an inspiration to over 10,000 young people in the past two years.

AMBITION
Bonita Norris
Bonita broke the record of the youngest person to climb Mount Everest when she completed the challenge aged just 22 in 2010. She offers workshops and motivational speeches on the importance of mapping out the steps to realising ambition so that dreams become reality.
CONFIDENCE
Shelley Rudman
Shelley is the current World Champion in the Skeleton Bobsleigh She offers workshops and motivational speeches. Shelley is well qualified to talk about the importance of confidence! The ups and downs of Shelley's career have instilled in her the need for self-confidence when overcoming setbacks, defeat and adversity.
CREATIVITY
Adele Carlsen
Adele is a former international synchronised swimmer who has both coached at international level and managed the GB synchro team for the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. She offers workshops and motivational speeches on the importance of team work. There are many lessons to be drawn from Adele’s experiences of harmonising with others to achieve success.
CONFIDENCE
Chemmy Alcott
Chemmy is Britain’s number one female alpine skier and four time Olympian. She was the first British woman to qualify for the World Cup Finals, the first British skier to win a run in a World Cup race and the first British skier to win the British Land National Ski Championships six times in a row. As part of her work with United Learning, Chemmy has launched our X-Elle initiative.
RESPECT
Alex Danson
Olympic Gold Medialist Alex is England and Team GB’s star hockey forward, and was the top goal scorer in GB’s successful Olympic Bronze medal winning squad in London 2012, and taking home the top prize at Rio 2016.
DETERMINATION
Emma Wiggs
A former PE teacher at The Regis School, Emma represented Great Britain in the London 2012 Paralympic Games in Seated Volleyball. Sitting Volleyball really appealed to her for the dynamic team aspects of the sport. Following a transfer to the para-canoe team, Emma won Gold at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio. She offers workshops and motivational speeches. Emma’s message is clear: Sheer determination can help overcome any challenges and obstacles.
ENTHUSIASM
Wayne and Jenny
Jenny is a former international track and field athlete and Wayne is a former international bobsleigher. Both now work as sports models, presenters and celebrity personal trainers. They run their own fitness business, Pace & Go, and may be better known as gladiators Doom and Enigma! They offer workshops and motivational speeches. Both Jenny and Wayne are hugely enthusiastic about life, health and well-being. They are focused on inspiring, educating and motivating young people through physical activity and positive attitudes.
DETERMINATION
Lauren Steadman
Lauren Steadman is a triple Paralympian after competing at two Paralympic Games; Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016 where she took home a Silver medal in the Paratriathalon. She has always endeavoured to reach the highest possible levels in sport and has competed at County, National, European, World and Paralympic standard. Lauren was born missing her lower right arm, however this has challenged Lauren to be the best she can be, and she relishes the chance to overcome barriers. Lauren offers workshops and motivational speeches
POWERFUL PERFORMANCE
Jason Gardener
Jason is one of the UK’s all-time great sprinters. He achieved one of his ultimate ambitions at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games by winning Gold in the men’s 4x100m relay. Earlier that year he became World Indoor Champion over 60m. Winner of four European Indoor Championship titles over 60 meters and a Commonwealth Games Champion for the 4x100m relay. He is a member of the very select sub 10 second club for 100m with a personal best of 9.98 seconds and captained the Great Britain & Northern Ireland Athletics team. Jason is well respected, articulate and educated and has a BSC Honours degree in Media and Sociology. He was awarded an MBE for services to athletics and has been made a Freeman of the city of Bath.
ENTHUSIASM
Maddie Hinch
Maddie started goalkeeping after being told by a PE teacher that the way she threw herself around during rounders might be better suited to a hockey goal! Since then Maddie's made a name for herself as a goalkeeping extraordinaire, starting at Exmouth HC and working her way up to becoming England's number one and making her senior debut against Germany in 2008, before taking the Gold medal at Rio 2016. Since then she's gained a degree in Sport & Exercise Science from Loughborough University, and when she's not protecting hockey goals she's coaching others to do the same. She offers workshops and motivational speeches.
DETERMINATION
Sophie Radcliffe
Sophie is an endurance athlete who has completed a range of challenges including the Kinabulu Challenge, climbing Mont Blanc, numerous triathlons, and cycling the alps.
CONFIDENCE
Craig Heap
In a career spanning 20 years, Craig Heap has won 14 British championship titles, led teams to Gold medals at two Commonwealth Games and competed at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. He now supports people to reach their own goals, as well as working as a high performance gymnastics coach. In 2016, Craig received huge plaudits for his work with BBC on their coverage of the gymnastics in Rio.
RESPECT
Chris Cook
Chris is a former competitive swimmer who swam for Great Britain in the Olympics, world championships and European championships, and competed for England in the Commonwealth Games. After competing for Great Britain for nearly 10 years Chris hung up the trunks and now works in schools to assist them in pursuit of their goals, inspiring a world class mind-set and encouraging people to follow their passion. Chris has built an impressive reputation as a motivational speaker who reflects passion to inspire and the value of respect.
 

United Learning is also delighted to work in partnership with a number of charities and organisations who support our work to ensure that every single pupil receives an excellent school experience.

                


 

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