A Surrey school have been presented with a new national award by Great Britain and England hockey captain Alex Danson during a surprise visit this week.
Cleves School’s commitment to developing its students to be the best they can be in competitive school sport was commemorated with a special assembly hosted by Alex this Wednesday, where they received their special School Games Platinum Award, whilst select Year 6 pupils also had the opportunity to take part in a hockey masterclass with the two-time Olympic medallist.
The Platinum Award is part of the School Games Mark, a government led awards scheme launched in 2012 and administered by national charity the Youth Sport Trust, which had close to 9,000 applicants this year. Its aim is to reward schools for a commitment to the development of competition across schools and into the community. Cleves were one of just 104 recipients of the new award and won a random prize draw to receive the presentation visit from Alex.
Participating in this process allows schools to evaluate their PE provision, grading them either bronze, silver or gold, and assists schools in developing an action plan for future progress. The Platinum Award is the new fourth level of the award scheme, introduced earlier this year to celebrate schools who had shown consistently high-levels of enthusiasm and commitment to school sport. Applications are only open to those schools who achieved five successive gold awards.
To achieve the gold award a school must meet a certain set of criteria, which includes engaging a high percentage of young people in both curricular and extracurricular activities, participating in a minimum number of competitions across different sports, and reaching out to target groups including young leaders, volunteers, and those previously identified as the school’s least-active pupils.
Speaking after her visit, Danson said: “I've had a fantastic day here at Cleves. They deserve huge congratulations for achieving this award. The School Games Mark is a fantastic opportunity to get more young people active and recognising those participating regular in inter and intra-school sport.”
Craig Smith, Deputy Head Teacher at Cleves School, said: “It's really special to receive this award. When we found out we got gold in the summer and we could go for the platinum we sat down and put our statement together. It was an unknown if we were going to get it but when we did it was fantastic and it's a recognition of all the hard work everyone has put in.”
PE Coordinator Alistair Nelson, who received the award on behalf of the school, added: “It was amazing to have Alex come into school to present the award. All the children really loved it and it was an amazing experience for everyone.”
All Platinum Awards will be valid for two years and successful applicants will not be required to apply again in 2018. The school will have the opportunity to maintain their Platinum Award when next applying in Summer 2019.
Our visit to Cleves completes the 2016/17 Mark application window and we would like to extend our thanks to all those who applied for bronze, silver, gold and platinum. The 2018 Mark window opens on Wednesday 09 May and will remain open until Friday 03 August. We look forward to welcoming your applications.