Trent Schools

May 29, 2020

When lockdown was announced and remote learning became our reality our vast sports programme had to pivot instantly from practical, face to face sessions to delivery through the confines of a laptop! The sports team brainstormed:

  • key areas of focus
  • methods of delivery
  • what pupils could achieve without our physical support
  • what pupils could achieve without our excellent school sports facilities

We needed to ensure all pupils could benefit from the remote programme, just as they do in normal school times, so it was important that we maintained a high standard of provision for each level of ability:

  • participation
  • progression
  • performance

As well as for each Trinity season sport:

  • Athletics
  • Tennis
  • Cricket

It was key for us to ensure the remote programme was engaging and accessible. Our rules of engagement included that information is:

  • visual
  • utilising scripted, detailed videos
  • simple to follow
  • incorporating lesson content plans aimed at the specific user
  • varied in challenge type and goal levels

As a department we already utilised social media to engage with our active online community and felt it would benefit pupils and their families to supplement set work through our Twitter platform @TrentSport. We took the decision to deliver daily interactive challenges that pupils across the school could participate in. This included:

  • clips of our pupils executing skills
  • examples from staff that pupils can learn from and practice
  • motivational quotes
  • sharing knowledge from other sources, such as books to read, documentaries or sporting research
  • information connected to our departmental values
  • messages of congratulations and encouragement

We’ve also initiated the Trent Sport Pod Cast Series interviewing people connected to the sports programme with valuable experiences, knowledge and leadership insight to share. This has proved popular and we’re always looking for new guests with a story!

A key part of the success of our remote sports programme has been our ability as a department to engage with pupils as they work and learn from home, encouraging them to:

  • join in with demonstration videos
  • complete assignments
  • be positive participants of live lessons
  • take part in twitter challenges
  • keep on top of their fitness

We’ve been delighted but not surprised by the focus and commitment of the Trent College pupil body. We’ve had high numbers of pupils sending in examples of their:

  • daily fitness regimes
  • skill practices
  • weekly successes

Sports teaching and coaching is founded upon building close relationships. Not having day to day interaction, the ‘well done’ in the corridor, the ‘how did you play yesterday?’ conversation has been one aspect we have had to work hard at during lockdown. To continue developing the player/coach relationship, we are utilising any opportunity for conversation:

  • live lessons
  • Teams ‘chat’
  • virtual meetings with groups of rugby, hockey, cricket or netball players
  • video calls

As with everyone adjusting to new ways of living and working at this time, we are trying to see past the road block, share ideas, collaborate and try things that may or may not work. This behaviour is reflected by our pupils, engaged as ever, keen, talented, hard-working and, just like us, desperate to get back to the glorious fields of Trent College.

Like any challenge in life, it’s worth reflecting on what I have learnt since normal life was brought to an abrupt halt. I’ve learnt that our community of staff, pupils and parents are strong, committed, forward thinking and care deeply about our school and the fabulous memories, excitement and opportunities that Trent College life provides.

As we move closer to a life that resembles something we used to know, I can speak on behalf of the Trent Sport staff, in saying that we can’t wait to get back to teaching, coaching, leading and learning within our wonderful campus. With all the hard work going on at home to keep fit, healthy and engaged, we’ll definitely be ready and I know our pupils will be ready too!

Read more about Sport at Trent College and The Elms.