Priory School’s ‘gem in the crown’ sports day makes its return after covid as hundreds of pupils get active on Southsea Common

HUNDREDS of city school pupils tried their hand at a range of sports from Ultimate Frisbee to Danish longball as Priory School took over Southsea Common for its annual sports day.

Thursday, 16th June 2022, 3:32 pm

Today marked the return of the event after the pandemic, and almost 1,000 students from Years 7 to 10 took part in activities including rounders, handball, and football.

It is the first Priory sports day for Rob Andrew, curriculum leader for physical education, as he joined the school just before the pandemic.

He said: ‘I’m really happy, there’s a lot of preparation that goes into it.

The Priory School Year 10s playing football. Picture: Sarah Standing (160622-6788)

‘The entire school community pitched in to make this day successful.’

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Bridgeen England-Wood, science teacher and outdoor education lead, has taught at Priory School for eight years.

She said: ‘We are really pushing this, getting outside to experience the curriculum beyond the classroom.

The Priory School Year 7s playing floorball. Picture: Sarah Standing (160622-6860)

‘Our sports day is really the gem in the crown.’

Bridgeen added that the return to sports day after a three year hiatus due to covid has left her feeling a bit emotional’.

She added: ‘It’s so nice to see kids back to some sort of normality.

‘They have had three years of disruption and have not been able to experience so much outside.

‘We are incorporating this into our game changing curriculum - this builds their resilience and confidence.’

Some family members came to cheer the youngsters on in their matches.

Liam Salt, a Year 7 pupil, is a keen footballer and plays as centre midfielder for the school team.

He said that today’s sports day is ‘good fun’, and added: ‘It’s nice to come outside with my friends.’

Anne-Marie Wood, maths teacher, was leading the students in Ultimate Frisbee matches.

She said: ‘It’s nice to be back.

‘I’ve got a Year 7 tutor group who have been so excited about this.

‘It’s a chance to show off our school, and for the people to have fun and experience that community.’

Priory School has recently launched a house system, with the Affinity house students wearing red, the Equity pupils donning orange, and the Tenacity youngsters sporting green.

The new system runs vertically, so each house includes students from every year.

Anne-Marie added: ‘It’s a way for us to rebuild community after covid.

‘I think it’s a really important part of education.’