Devizes School's sport has reached gold standard

This Is Wiltshire: Department head Sue Marshall and faculty head Ali Beck celebrate with Devizes School students Department head Sue Marshall and faculty head Ali Beck celebrate with Devizes School students

The quality of its sports provision has earned Devizes School a national accolade.

It has become a gold partner school with the Youth Sport Trust, a charity that works to deliver sporting opportunities to young people.

To become a gold partner, the school had to submit an application to demonstrate how it is delivering high-quality school sport and uses sport to raise achievement levels.

A representative from the Youth Sport Trust visited the school and scrutinised its work to ensure it qualified for the achievement.

Devizes School became a specialist sports college in 2004 and, although the coalition government took away specialisms, headteacher Malcolm Irons continues to allocate funding under the sports college name.

As part of their work, the school’s PE teachers continue to deliver PE sessions in its 11 feeder primary schools.

Mr Irons said: “We are absolutely thrilled to become a Youth Sport Trust partner school, which recognises our commitment to delivering the best possible experiences for young people through PE and school sport.

"There are a whole range of educational, health and wellbeing benefits from delivering high-quality PE and school sport.

“We see on a regular basis that when sport is delivered well it can transform the lives of a whole range of pupils.”

As a partner school, Devizes will receive additional training and development opportunities and can become involved in national education and sport initiatives.

Devizes School offers 36 different sports ranging from football and hockey to boxing, canoeing, water polo and rocket ball.

Ali Beck, head of faculty for PE and health, said: “We speak to our students and ask them what is going to get them buzzing about PE lessons. We provide varied activities while still following the National Curriculum.

“Our students have voted with their feet and we don’t have an issue with participation. Kids turn up knocking on our door at 8.30am wanting to get started.”

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