Delamere Academy teachers put the fun in fitness

Isolation hasn’t meant inactivity for children at Delamere Academy, who are staying in shape thanks to a daily PE challenge set by their teachers.

With all schools closed to everyone aside from the children of key workers because of the coronavirus crisis, pupils are required to learn in lockdown for the foreseeable future.

Inventive teachers at the Stoney Lane school have been delivering virtual lessons to children’s homes, and a big part of the quarantine curriculum has been daily PE challenges.

Members of staff post videos of themselves taking on running, jumping, throwing and skills tests to encourage children to get active.

Deputy Headteacher Ricky Huddart said: “Staff have been working really hard to give lots of learning opportunities for the children.

“Parents and children have responded really well to the online learning platforms, and daily videos from staff are a lovely way to demonstrate specific lessons, read bedtime stories, show experiments and even have a joke together!

“We have loved seeing what the children have been up to at home and how they are looking after their mental health and wellbeing.

“An integral part of it is keeping children active, and a few of us have set challenges for the children. It’s been great to see them take on the tasks, and they usually beat us!”

PE teacher Tom Freeman added: “For my daily PE Challenge I film myself, for example, seeing how many continuous catches I make with a tennis ball against a wall. Or, how many speed bounces I can do in 30 seconds.

“The children are encouraged to practice the skill, and aim to set personal bests. Anyone who wants to can post their videos to Twitter, which really helps to keep motivation up.”

Using the latest technology, teachers are beaming lessons direct to kitchens, sitting rooms and bedrooms several times a day to make sure pupils see familiar faces and maintain morale.

In addition to the core subjects, children have been cooking, producing art masterpieces, entering competitions and learning to ride a bike without stabilisers.

Last year, Delamere Academy became one of less than 20 schools in the UK to have been given a Wellbeing Award for Schools (WAS), which commends schools who make the welfare of pupils and staff a priority.

The school also shares expertise fellow members of North West Academies Trust (NWAT), which include St Martin’s at Chester, Oak View at Winsford, Weaverham Primary Academy and Rudheath Senior Academy.

Delamere was recently named one of the top 10 non-fee paying primary schools in the country by Tatler magazine, for consistently featuring in the top 1% in the Government’s school performance tables. It has also won Platinum status for sporting provision and was the top performing school in Cheshire West in thelatest SATs results.

For more information about Delamere CofE Academy, email: admin@delamere.cheshire.sch.uk or tel: 01829 707 979.