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October 2015

Posted: 31st October, 2015


Yr 56 Sports Hall Athletics Team invited to Awards Ceremony.

Last year our year 56 sports hall team were crowned County Champions for the 3rd year in a row and in recognition of this success they have been invited to the Rushcliffe Sports Awards.
The invite to the awards ceremony has come about not only because of county success but also because our team was ranked in the top 10 in the whole of the U.K. Moving from from 56th in 2013 to 26th in 2014 to 8th in 2015 in the whole of the UK, the team really excelled this year. Considering the amount of schools that compete in this event nationally, whether they win an award or not, their achievement is fantastic and each child should be immensely proud of their success. Mr Burdes has attached a letter below for each child who took part and will also contact those children who have moved on to yr 7.

Posted: 17th October, 2015


Tag Rugby County Finals

On Thursday 15th October, the Tag Rugby squad - made up of 12 year 5 and 6 children - made their way to Mellish Rugby Club for the county finals. Tis was the first time we had qualified for the county finals, but the children were in confident mood having won the Rushcliffe area finals the week before. Twelve teams fro across Nottinghamshire were split into two groups, with only the top two schools in each group progressing to the semi finals. In five tough group stage games, the children warmed to the occasion, winning 4 - against Whitmoor, Good Shepherd, Hucknall National and St Mary's - and narrowly losing against a very well organised team from Bleasby.

This meant we finished second in our group and set up a semi final match against Abbey Road who we had narrowly beaten to win the Rushcliffe finals the week before. In a very close and tense game, we began to pull away in the closing stages and won by two clear tries. This gave the children the chance to avenge their group stage defeat against Bleasby: they were obviously very nervous. At half time, the two teams were tied at 5-5; however, the children came up flying in the second half and a combination of tight defence and expansive attack play allowed them to pull away to a 3 try lead which they held on to, winning 10 - 7. The children were delighted and rightly so: county champions at their first attempt.

Posted: 7th October, 2015


Cross Country Team Success!

Tonight our yr 5&6 cross country teams competed in the Rushcliffe Schools Cross Country Relays. The children would run approx. 1500m each for their team around Rushcliffe Country Park and go against the best schools in the borough. Last year we secured a bronze medal for the girls team and they were determined to equal this or better it from the beginning. During a thrilling race the girls from both teams ran incredibly to win and also place 6th. Having seen the girls run so well, the boys were inspired to run as hard as they could in their race. The positions changed a few times throughout the race and finally the navy blues won, the Hawaiian blues were 4th and the sky blues placed approx. 12th (TBC). It was great to see them all do so well. This is the first time we have ever won medals for both boys and girls at this event and it is a real treat that they were both gold. Well done everyone!

Posted: 10th October, 2015

So how do we pick our teams?


Each year I'm often asked how we pick the children to represent our school in competition. I thought I'd use this blog to try and explain things as I believe we balance competition and inclusion very well. Some events we take very seriously and others are more of a festival for involvement. However it is always important that the children have fun.

School sport is thriving at Radcliffe Juniors and masses of children want to be in our teams but we cannot take everyone.  For instance, I've just picked 4 teams for the upcoming sports hall athletics competitions. There were enough boys for at least 7 teams but only enough girls for 4, therefore we can only take 4 as the teams are mixed. This still represents 40 children and it is thanks to the flexibility of staff that we can take this many as many schools only take 1 team. But how do I select them? 

Sports hall athletics has relay races and 5 field events and is open to both year 5 & 6 children. Throughout club nights and PE sessions, the teachers note down the performances of the children and I then rank them for each event.  As I'm taking into account the children's running, jumping and throwing ability it is not an exact science however I do try very hard to try and get it right so that the teams are competitive in all areas. Additionally for some children, this will be their last opportunity to represent the school and so yr 6 get priority over the year 5s (this is also the same for yrs 3&4 - with the 4s being selected before the 3s) as the younger children will get their opportunity the following year. These same principles are applied to our other teams in the sports that we focus on as a school.

There are occasions when younger, talented children are selected for competition ahead of older children but these decisions are not taken lightly. It is also worth noting that competition, by its very nature, is competitive. However we try very hard to give as many children an opportunity as possible by taking more teams to competition than any other school in Rushcliffe.

For many other events we invite  children to compete based on inclusion, for instance; our yr 56 basketball team had several friendlies and so each child at the club played several matches each, our  boccia team only selected children on the SEN register in yr 3, the lacrosse team gave every child an opportunity who had attended club, boys and girls futsal teams for both yr 34 and 56 were picked by lottery, and our inter school rowing team and inter school sports day team were all selected with inclusion in mind. In this way masses of different children represented the school last year, rather than the same old faces.

I hope that this week's blog helps provide some clarification on selection but I am always happy to talk to children and parents to explain specifics. Have a great weekend.

Posted: 3rd October, 2015

Competitions begin.


This week saw the beginnings of our interschool competitions with the year 3&4 biathlon, year 6 boys' football as well as the Ikano Mini Marathon. The sun was shining and, in the great weather, the children had lots of fun. Nearly 80 of our children (along with their parents) took part in the mini marathon on Sunday and it was a wonderful event. I thought it was lovely to see the children having a great time in sport and wearing their red t-shirts and medals with pride. The event had a lovely family feel with our parent runners also doing a super job on the 2.5km course. Well done everybody!

Our younger children represented the school really well on Thursday at the Biathlon.  There were some great swimmers in the squad and I also know that many other children have been inspired to swim more too. This can only be a good thing. Whilst swimming is very close to my heart, it is very hard to know who swims with clubs or who is improving unless they tell me. With that in mind, we may enter a school's swimming gala in the spring and so if you are a swimmer, please make sure you let me know so I can assess if we have enough children to field a team.  CABSC (Calverton and Bingham Swim Club) train locally in Bingham and Cotgrave and Leander also has local training nights so if your child wishes to take their swimming lessons further and improve their ability as a club swimmer you may want to contact them.

The running aspect of the biathlon was great and I was delighted to see so many of the children, who ran as part of the cross country club last year (when they were yr3), represent the school.  Running is looking really competitive with great improvements by many over the past 12 months. Notably, Katie, Marissa and Abby have really improved and are challenging both Hannah and Bibi in our distance runs. I think, in the Biathlon, that Abby clinched to fastest run time for the girls as she pushed herself hard all the way after setting off like a rocket. As expected the boys’ runs were equally competitive and, while I never know which order the boys will finish, I always know that they will push themselves as hard as they can. I was also really pleased to see the efforts of the children in year 3. There is some real talent there and the future is looking buoyant. 

Looking ahead we will be running an inter house cross country event after half term and also a sports athletics competition. The year 3/4 sports hall athletics club will also begin after half term with their competitions scheduled for January 2016.

Congratulations to the boys in year 6 who won a great football game against Jesse Gray  on Wednesday to progress to the 2nd round of the 'Big School Cup'. Mr Starr said the boys played very well and showed great team spirit to secure their win. The boys are in action again next week in another cup match so I'd like to wishing them luck.

Next week we have lots more action for the children. Yr 56 Tag rugby finals, Yr 56 cross country relays and Yr 6 football. It's going to be a super week. Good luck to everyone who is competing.



Posted: 3rd October, 2015


Yr 3&4 Biathlon

On Thursday, 24 of our children from years 3 & 4 competed in the Rushcliffe Biathlon at West Bridgford School. They had to swim 25m and then run approx. 400m. It was delightful to see how excited they all were, especially as many of children were representing the school for the first time. There was some super swimming from our squad to start the competition, especially from Lolly and Rafe. The team then moved on to the running aspect of the competition (after they had changed) with a lap of the sports field. All our runners pushed themselves hard to do their best and should all feel very proud of themselves. A special mention should be made to Abby and Ben who really shone in their races. Mr Burdes would also like to thank Millie, Olivia and Ava for saving the day as our super subs because without them we wouldn't have been able to field 3 teams. Results attached.