Sharing Camden Practice

School sports collaborative – inclusive sports festival

Key Points

  • Provides opportunity for competitive sport for all children, not only talented
  • Easy-to-resource sports involve all


What were your reasons for doing this development work?

This was prompted by changes in the primary PE curriculum – a greater emphasis on opportunities for competitive sport. We needed more inter-level competition, among groups of schools. At the time this was only available to children talented in sport.

Who were the identified target learners?

Whole classes

What were your success criteria?

  • Involvement in the festival
  • Engagement and enjoyment of children
  • Enhancement of sports skills and attitude in competition

What did you do? (What success criteria did you use?)

There were 8 participating schools (Beckford, Brecknock, Brookfield, Fleet,Gospel Oak, Kentish Town, St Aloysius, St Paul’s), and my school, Primrose Hill. The festivals were at UCL Academy (thanks to an existing relationship between headteachers) because they had facilities and could involve their Y8 sports leaders. For each year group there were two festivals, to accommodate the numbers. Over 700 children participated in the festivals.

For Y3 and Y5 the sport was Dodgeball. (Two teams, six soft foam balls, the aim being not to be hit by the opposing side; once hit, sent off. If ball is caught, member of team comes back on. Matches last about 4 minutes, team with most players left wins.) To see photos of the Dodgeball festival, see

For Y4 and Y6 the sport was Benchball. (Two teams, member of each team stands on bench at back of court catching the foam ball in place of the net)
Both these sports use multi-skills and have plenty of interaction with the ball. They are easy to resource. For photos, see

I provided hour-long model lessons for the 4 different year groups in each school  in the lead up to the festival. I brought the classes and their teachers to UCLA.  Each model lesson comprised

  • generic warm-up: movement around space, finding space, looking at dodging in isolation;
  • skill development: passing and catching, aiming for certain parts of the body
  • Lots of time on the actual game.

UCLA’s Y8 sports leaders used the model lessons to prepare and get to know the team they would take responsibility for at the festival. They refereed some events at the festivals, and coached their team throughout their games. The UCLA sports leadership is a positive programme linked to good behaviour.

The festivals provided competition, but through inclusion. There was no trophy; it was about the team that played with the greatest spirit.

What specific teaching resources did you use?

The facilities at UCLA; benches, soft foam balls.

Outcomes and Impact

What has been the impact on pupil learning and teaching?

There was  great engagement and enjoyment at the festivals. The children named their teams (eg Primrose Panthers) and developed a strong relationship with their Y8 sports leader.

Evidence of impact on pupil learning and teaching/leadership

Extracts from evaluations:
Well organised, timings were good, loved the leniency with pivotting and sports leaders were fantastic.
Great that the Year 8 sports leaders were involved and took such an active role in the organisation of the day.

Extract from evaluations: Well organised, and the children loved taking part.
Excellent venue with lots of space and this allowed children to be constantly involved in the games. Also, the children loved the choice of Dodgeball as a game to play and consequently now would like us to do more of this in school..

We have a Dodgeball Club in school now.