SPORTY pupils at Little Sutton Primary School haven’t let lockdown dampen their enthusiasm for PE, with the school being awarded the Virtual School Games Mark for 2019/20.

The award comes from Your School Games and recognises Little Sutton C of E’s virtual delivery of PE and school sport during the pandemic.

Year 2 teacher Callum Bowness is also the PE co-ordinator at the school, which is located on Berwick Road in Little Sutton, and has arranged a variety of sporting activities for children to get involved in after the school closed to the majority of pupils in March 2020.

Mr Bowness said: “Pupils have been busy at home completing gymnastic routines, volleyball and football keep-ups, recreating our favourite sporting moments, basketball dribbling, creating mini golf courses and many more ‘home-friendly’ PE activities.”

Mr Bowness set up a dedicated PE YouTube channel with videos and challenges to inspire the children at not only Little Sutton Primary School but across the area, with children from schools in Ellesmere Port and Chester taking part.

He added: “The YouTube channel came about as a way of keeping children engaged with sport and PE whilst they were at home. I’ve got a keen interest in video anyway, so it seemed like a good way to inspire our pupils to learn and refine their sports skills, and have fun at the same time.”

“A lot of our pupils really like the Netflix Floor is Lava television show at the moment, so I came up with a Floor is Lava challenge where the children have to make their way across a ‘lava’ floor, completing exercises on the way. That has definitely been the favourite for the children so far.”

“The focus has been on challenges the children can easily do at home, like with the cash dash challenge that needs just a few coins, a bowl and a piece of paper and a pen. Being a teacher, I couldn’t resist adding in some mental maths too.

“As well as differentiated PE activities for all age groups, it has been brilliant to see whole families getting involved with the challenges and having fun together.

"Whilst we have been open as a school for key worker families, most of our children have been at home. They’ve missed school, and if the videos have given them a bit of fun and exercise during their day, then it has been worthwhile. Mental health and wellbeing has never been so important, and sport and being active is a great start.”

The Virtual School Games Mark for Little Sutton Primary School comes after it was awarded the Silver School Games Mark for outstanding commitment to PE and sports over the 2018/9 academic year. Mr Bowness is keen to achieve the gold award for 2020/21.

He said: “From September 2020, I’ll be teaching in Year 6 and there will be even more opportunities for driving our school’s sport and PE provision further.

"We’ll still have Mal Stocker-Jones in school with us as our regular coach, and we’ll be getting involved with the School Games events once more. I know our pupils here at Little Sutton will be up for the sporting challenges ahead and I can’t wait to see what we can achieve.”