A city primary school has scooped a PE prize for its tennis club for deaf and hearing impaired pupils.
Howes Primary School, in Cheylesmore, was successful in the Physical Activity and Health Enhancing Initiatives in the Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Primary PE and School Sport Awards.
The tennis club usually has 100% attendance, and school staff have reported that since the project began pupils involved have improved their concentration and fine motor skills within the classroom.
Cllr Kevin Maton, Coventry City Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “I’m really pleased for Howes’ excellent Tennis Club. It has clearly made an amazing impact on all of the pupils involved, boosting their confidence and improving their skills.
“They’ve demonstrated how a little funding can go a long way and have established an excellent club. I hope the school goes on to even more success in the regional and national PE awards, as they really do deserve it.”
Howes Primary School has a Hearing Impaired Unit for pupils who are deaf and have a range other significant additional needs. The school decided to use their Sport Premium funding to set up a deaf tennis club to improve the range of inclusive sports on offer for pupils.
One deaf child in Year 3 has grown so much in confidence that he now arrives early to help set the equipment up, signs for other pupils at the sessions and does demonstrations of the activities. He has asked to be a Youth Sports Leader when he is in Year 6 and has even started to think about a career in coaching.
David Moorcroft OBE, Chair of Coventry Sports Network, presented the award to members of the tennis club in a school assembly today (22 June). The school will now go on to the regional PE awards.
He said: “This is a fantastic achievement by the school and all the children that took part in the deaf tennis club, not only the children that participated, but also the children who became sports leaders and helped to run the club. It’s wonderful that through this club the children developed a love of tennis and more and more children are being introduced to sport, gaining a lifelong love of being active.”
Funding was used to train staff first with the Sainsbury’s Active Kids for All Inclusive PE training alongside tennis training, and further young sports leaders from the school also received training. Pupils at Howes were inspired when they went to the deaf tennis camp at the Tennis Centre, Nottingham.
Howes Primary Schools’ Headteacher, Mrs Sioux Cooke, said: “We have used our Sports Premium funding strategically ensuring that it has a wide and sustainable impact. What is particularly pleasing about our deaf tennis project is that it has had a big impact with a relatively small amount of funding.
“This demonstrates that if the funding is used well it can be very powerful in enhancing sport provision; encouraging healthy lifestyles; promoting self-esteem and giving staff improved coaching skills. All pupils at our deaf tennis club have benefited enormously from this project and this project will ensure that they become active life- long learners.”