Sport in the Prep School

"Pupils are succesful in both team and individual sporting events. They are assisted in their success by the wide programme of sporting activities, superb on-site facilities and excellent coaching." ISI Inspection 2017

At Bishop’s Stortford College we take great pride in our sporting heritage and a successful record and reputation, founded on the principles of excellence and enjoyment.Your child will have the opportunity to play sport on a regular basis, competitively or simply for pleasure.

Our aim is to provide the best possible sporting provision for all our pupils. To that end we strive to offer pupils every opportunity to enjoy sport and experience success. This involves striking the rare balance between excelling at the highest level with our most talented pupils whilst ensuring that all pupils benefit from good coaching and positive sporting experiences.

Four afternoons are set aside for sport with Wednesdays and Saturdays being match days. All Prep School staff are involved in delivering sport on those afternoons and we benefit from the fact that many of them are not only passionate about sport but can offer specialist and experienced coaching. They are supported by the PE Department and a dedicated team of part time sports coaches, including several ex international players who provide high level coaching and inspiring role models. Pupils are taught in ability groups to allow them to play with others of a similar standard and so that they can be encouraged to achieve success accordingly.

Core sports

Boys: rugby, hockey and cricket
Girls: hockey, netball and rounders
      
For every pupil to find their niche a breadth of experience is important and we also offer clubs and fixtures in swimming, football, athletics, tennis, cross country and golf.  The fixture list is extensive and we aim to play at the highest level whilst fielding as many teams as is possible. On several afternoons we field over 20 teams. Our 1st teams enjoy regular success at district, county and regional level and we have reached national finals in hockey, rugby, athletics and swimming.

In addition, there is a dedicated after-school sport club for Upper Shell (year 4) and an increasing number of fixtures (home and away) for this age group. The club is run by Departmental staff and supported by one of the part time sports coaches. All Upper Shell children have an opportunity of representing the College in a fixture at some point throughout the year. 

Sport at the College is supported by Knight frank logo

Facilities

All pupils benefit from excellent facilities and resources which include:

  • Extensive, campus-based playing fields (100 acres).
  • Indoor 25m swimming pool with spectator gallery and adjacent learner pool.
  • Large multi-use sports hall providing the facilities for badminton, basketball, volleyball, judo, indoor hockey, netball, football, table tennis and indoor cricket nets. There is also an extensive multigym which is currently being refurbished.
  • Two floodlit astroturf pitches for hockey and tennis.
  • All weather surface courts for netball and tennis.

The personal qualities that are developed through the  physical, emotional and social aspects of playing sport are highly valued. At whichever level it is played, sport at the College aims to foster a lifelong enjoyment of physical activity and build true character, the benefits of which are taken into life well beyond school.

Upper Shell (Year 4, 8-9 Year Olds)

During the Sports Club, boys and girls partake in separate activities. They are taught mixed ability, which provides an opportunity for those boys and girls with previous experience to support and inspire their peers. They all strive to achieve the best standard they can and are encouraged to achieve success accordingly. 

The boys play cricket and football in the Autumn Term, football and hockey in the Spring Term and cricket and tennis in the Summer Term. The girls play netball during the Autumn and Spring Terms and rounders and tennis in the Summer Term. 

Sports Club takes place on a Friday after school and finishes at 5.00pm.

Fixtures

The fixture list is extensive and we aim to play at the highest level whilst fielding as many teams as is possible. On several afternoons we field over 20 teams. Our 1st teams enjoy regular success at district, county and regional level and we have reached national finals in hockey, rugby, athletics and swimming.

Sports Tours

For many pupils sports tours are the highlight of their sporting experience in the Prep School. There are regular tours organised for the major sports both abroad and within the UK. There is a biennial boys’ rugby and girls’ hockey tour to Ireland and hockey teams have also travelled to Spain and Holland. Closer to home cricket and hockey teams have visited Manchester and Canterbury.

House Sports Matches

House matches in swimming, athletics, hockey, rugby, tennis, football, cross country, cricket, netball and rounders are organised to encourage all pupils to participate and enjoy the thrill of competition.

Cricket

Cricket is played as a major game for boys in the Summer term. The fixture list is extensive and includes local schools and schools from the wider East Anglia region. We field teams at U9, U11 and U13 level.

Four afternoons are set aside for cricket with Wednesdays and Saturdays being match days. All Prep School staff are involved in coaching on those afternoons and we benefit from the fact that many of them are not only passionate about cricket but can offer specialist and experienced coaching. They are supported by the PE Department and a dedicated team of part time sports coaches. Pupils are taught in ability groups to allow them to play with others of a similar standard and so that they can be encouraged to achieve success accordingly. Boys are introduced to the basic skills of the game through Kwik Cricket before developing towards hard ball cricket in Form 1 (Year 5).

We make full use of the College’s extensive playing fields and in addition our cricket facilities include four squares, 12 practice nets, a portable bowling cage and a bowling machine. The Sports Hall has cricket nets which can be used for indoor 'net' sessions during the Spring term and Easter holidays.

Towards the end of the Summer term, the Inter-House competition is held which encourages participation and offers an additional opportunity for more boys to play representative matches.

Whilst being very proud of our cricket at Bishop’s Stortford College, we are ambitious to develop the sport even further in order to provide the best provision for our cricketers and achieve the highest standards possible.

Football

Football Club takes place for U11s on Monday and for U13s on Thursday evenings in the Autumn Term. In the Spring Term both U11 an dU13 squads train every Thursday evening. Training takes place on grass and in the darker, winter months we train on the astroturf under floorlights.

The fixture list is varied and includes Duncombe, Felsted, St Faith's, Forest, Thorley Hill and Chigwell. The Under 13s play in the IAPS Soccer Sixes Tournament in October. This is a regional event with the top two teams going through to the National Finals. In the Spring Term the U11s play in the ISFA East Area U11 tournament, the finals of which are held at the prestigious St George's Park, and the U12 and U13 teams play in the District Tournament at Birchwood School. The U13s predominantly play 6-a-side and the U11s play 7-a-side.

Our top U13 players are invited to ISFA Herts and Essex Trials and we regularly have players in the regional representative team playing in the ISFA National Festival at Shrewsbury School at Easter.

We run an Inter-House football competition in the Autumn Term with an A and a B competition to give as many pupils as possible the chance to play.

Hockey

Hockey is played as a major game for both boys and girls in the Prep School. The girls play in the Autumn term and the boys in the Spring term. The fixture list is extensive and we aim to play at the highest level whilst fielding as many teams as is possible, on several occasions as many as 14 teams. Our 1st teams enjoy regular success at district, county and regional level and we have reached the national finals in the IAPS and HA mini hockey competitions. Our U13 boys were IAPS National Champions in 2012.

Four afternoons are set aside for hockey with Wednesdays and Saturdays being match days. All Prep School staff are involved in coaching on those afternoons and we benefit from the fact that many of them are not only passionate about hockey but can offer specialist and experienced coaching. They are supported by the PE Department and a dedicated team of part time sports coaches who provide high level coaching and inspiring role models. Pupils are taught in ability groups to allow them to play with others of a similar standard and so that they can be encouraged to achieve success accordingly.

We take full advantage of our two floodlit Astro turf pitches to ensure that pupils learn their basic skills on this surface. All matches are played on astroturf pitches. The facilities are used to host the IAPS East Region Tournaments for U11, U12 and U13 girls and U11 and U13 boys. We are also delighted to host the IAPS U11 girls' National Finals biannually. In addition, we have well maintained grass pitches and use of a large sports hall which is ideal for specialist goalkeeping practice.

House matches are organised to encourage all pupils to participate and enjoy the thrill of competition. They are always closely contested and great fun.

For many pupils hockey tours are the highlight of their sporting experience in the Prep School. There are regular tours organised both abroad and within the UK. There is a biennial boys’ rugby and girls’ hockey tour to Ireland and recently hockey teams have travelled to Spain & Holland. Closer to home there are regular mini tours to Canterbury.

Whilst being very proud of our success in hockey, we are still ambitious to excel regularly at the highest level.

Netball

Netball is played as a major game for girls in the Spring term. The fixture list is extensive and we aim to play at the highest level whilst fielding as many teams as is possible. We make full use of our six outdoor all weather netball courts and in addition the Sports Hall offers an indoor training and match facility.

In addition to weekly matches, we also play in several tournaments including national and locally run competitions. Over the years we have enjoyed great success at both the IAPS National Netball tournament and the District Netball Tournament.

Four afternoons are set aside for netball with Wednesdays and Saturdays being match days. All Prep School staff are involved in coaching on those afternoons and we benefit from the fact that many of them are not only enthusiastic about the game but can offer specialist and experienced coaching. They are supported by the PE Department and a dedicated team of part time sports coaches. Our Head of Netball, who is an ex international player, provides high level coaching and is an inspiring role model. Pupils are taught in ability groups to allow them to play with others of a similar standard and so that they can be encouraged to achieve success accordingly.

We are planning to include pre-season and mid-season training sessions which will be run by players from the netball Super League. This will give the girls the opportunity to receive coaching from some of the best players in the country. The netball Super League is the top domestic league in the country. Each year we organise a trip to see one of the matches, which gives girls the opportunity to see many of the England netball players in action. The games are fast paced, highly skilful and competitive and girls leave these matches inspired. 

House matches are played towards the end of the term and are competitive but fun events. A and B team competitions ensure that all girls have the opportunity to compete.

Rounders

Rounders is played as a major game for girls in the Summer term. The fixture list is extensive and we aim to play at the highest level whilst fielding as many teams as is possible. On several afternoons we field as many as 10 teams. Our U13A teams are particularly successful and enjoy unbeaten seasons. We have also been U12 and U13 District Champions for many years.

Four afternoons are set aside for rounders with Wednesdays and Saturdays being match days. All Prep School staff are involved in coaching on those afternoons and we benefit from the fact that many of them are not only enthusiastic about rounders but can offer specialist and experienced coaching.

They are supported by the PE Department and a dedicated team of part time sports coaches. Pupils are taught in ability groups to allow them to play with others of a similar standard and so that they can be encouraged to achieve success accordingly.

We make full use of the College’s extensive playing fields which are marked out with 11 pitches. Towards the end of the Summer term, the Inter-House competition is held which encourages all girls to participate and is always a closely contested and enjoyable event.

Rugby

Rugby is played as a major game for boys in the Autumn term. The fixture list is extensive and we aim to play at the highest level whilst fielding as many teams as is possible. At the top end of the Prep School, the U12 and U13 age groups combine and games groups are selected on merit with teams from 1st XV to 6th XV. There will be a total of about 45 matches throughout the term for these teams. The U11 and U10 age groups usually work together with matches for U11A, B, C and D playing nearly 40 matches whilst on a couple of occasions there will be separate fixtures for the U10A and B teams. The U9s also have a number of matches against other schools. In the Spring term, the U13 boys have entered three seven-a-side tournaments; the Hertfordshire Sevens, Berkhamsted Sevens and the prestigious Rosslyn Park Tournament, which they won in 2012.

All teams follow the RFU/IAPS guidelines as far as laws are concerned.

Four afternoons are set aside for rugby with Wednesdays and Saturdays being match days. All Prep School staff are involved in coaching on games afternoons and we benefit from the fact that many of them are not only passionate about rugby but can offer specialist and experienced coaching. They are supported by the PE Department and a dedicated team of part time sports coaches.

We take full advantage of our extensive playing fields which provide a total of 9 pitches.

House matches are organised to encourage all pupils to participate and enjoy the thrill of competition. They are always closely contested and great fun.

For many pupils tours are the highlight of their sporting experience in the Prep School. There is a biennial boys’ rugby and girls’ hockey tour to Ireland which has proved very popular.

Whilst being very proud of our success in rugby, we are always ambitious to excel regularly at the highest level.

Swimming

Swimming is run alongside the major games throughout the year. There are boys and girls swimming teams in all age groups from U8 to U13. The fixture list is varied and includes local schools and schools from the wider East Anglia region. Most galas take place in the Autumn and Summer terms. However, in the Spring term, we host two major competitions. In January, over 10 schools compete for the District Swimming Championships and the College teams have won the boys and girls combined trophy on many occasions. In February, we host the prestigious IAPS Regional Championships and regularly have pupils qualify through this to the IAPS National Swimming Finals.

Years 4, 7 & 8 train on Tuesday and Thursday mornings before school. Years 5 & 6 train during activity time on Tuesday afternoons from 3.30 – 5.00pm. In addition there is a development session which runs on a Monday from 5.00 – 6.00pm and is open to any pupil who would like to improve their swimming. Our swimming coaches are experienced and well qualified specialists who are dedicated to developing individuals and the sport within the College.

Bishop's Stortford College is a Royal Life Saving Society training centre which allows us to run courses for the National Pool Lifeguarding Qualification and also for the National Rescue Award for Swimming Teachers and Coaches.  This means we can run in-house training to ensure all our PE staff are trained in aquatic rescue.

We enjoy the use of the lovely College pool, which offers a 6 lane 25m pool, learner pool and viewing gallery. 

In the Spring term, the very popular House swimming gala gives every pupil in the Prep School the opportunity to compete in a race, be it a blue ribbon event, the 12 x 25m fun race or the mass relay, to win points for their respective House.

Swimming has a strong tradition at Bishop’s Stortford College and part of that tradition is the 80 Club. Pupils swim 8 lengths before breakfast in the morning and aim to complete either 80 or 120 days between September and Easter. Those who are successful are awarded an 80 Club tie and membership of the club. Those completing 120 days also receive a silver spoon.

Whilst being very proud of our swimming tradition, we are ambitious to develop the sport even further in order to provide the best provision for our swimmers and achieve the highest standards possible.