Joining competitions

We believe that all young people should have the opportunity to participate in the School Games. Read on to find out more about how to get involved with the different types of School Games events, as well as what being a 'School Games school' entitles you to.

Personal Challenge

The Opportunity: It is the mission of the School Games to provide ‘more young people with the opportunity to compete and achieve their Personal Best ’ this includes competing against oneself and others to improve personal performances. Personal Challenge is a student driven/self-led opportunity to attempt and improve performance – this can be informal, physically active challenges both at school and beyond the school day. 

Getting Involved: These challenges should be accessible for all students in school and designed to engage as many participants as possible. In secondary schools the challenges should be both student-led and digitally stimulated with the concept that students will challenge others to beat a score or better their performance. In primary schools these challenges may be digitally led if appropriate but this isn't essential. They can be organised by school staff but should be student driven and organised in consultation with young people.

Making it School Games: The following examples may bring this to life; 

  • Using the primary intra-school basketball cards, students were challenged over a week to get the lowest par possible on the Basketball Golf Challenge. 
  • During break and lunch times students were encouraged to beat their Tennis ‘Bounce About’ score. This involved how many bounces they could do in 30 seconds. Students record it, and those who had biggest improvement were celebrated.
  • Using the Rowing ‘Ergo Warrior’ students posted their personal best times on a virtual league. Rewards were given for progress over time.

Utilising the digital platform TopYA students can be encouraged to engage in multiple challenges that are uploaded. What is most important at this level is that students are recognised by peers and staff for their commitment to the School Games Values.

Intra-School Competition

The Opportunity: With children in England attending school until the age of sixteen, there is no better place to provide all young people with the opportunity to compete than in that environment, whether that be between houses, classes, or even friendship groups. All registered users of the School Games website can access tools and resources to support this.

Getting Involved: It is the responsibility of the individual school to engage pupils in intra-school competitions. Therefore, there are many different ways of doing so. These activities are ideally initiated by young people in schools, but are normally run as breakfast, lunch or after school activities, and in some cases they are used as part of PE lessons. We encourage schools to consider how they use competition to develop a sense of belonging and celebrate the individual progress students make.

Making it School Games: Through the School Games website you will be able to find a range of different sport formats and activities. These have been designed by National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGBs) and include both Primary and Secondary formats. Take a look at the sports we cover here

11,000
School Games Days held in 2017

Local Inter-School Competition

The Opportunity: The history of inter-school competitions is far wider than the School Games, however the emphasis over the period of the School Games has been to increase the breadth (number and type of sports) and depth - number of young people engaging - of competition. To support this, a calendar of local events is created by a School Games Organiser (SGO) who is provided with government funding to offer a minimum of three days a week support to schools across their area. As a result, all schools should have open access to a calendar of competitions throughout the year.

There are three different variations of inter-school competition:

  • Pathway events - an inter-school event where the winners feed into a county final.
  • Development events - an inter-school event where there is no pathway and the purpose is established locally.
  • Festival events - an inter-school event which involves a rotation of skill based activities. 

Getting Involved: Inter-school competition is for school years 3-13. At this stage individuals and teams will be selected to represent their school and compete against other local schools. These competitions may take place using a tournament or league structure. Schools will have the flexibility to decide which sports to enter but are encouraged to involve as many pupils as possible by creating breadth in the sports they offer and depth through the creation of additional teams.

Making it School Games: All those organising local inter-school competitions are asked to follow the School Games sport formats, whilst providing further clarity about the style of delivery and the pupils the competitions are targeting, e.g. competition for non-club / community players.

27,000
inter-school events held during 2016/17

County Final

The Opportunity: The county final is a culmination of numerous inter-school competitions. The event should include a variety of sports (minimum 13 of which five are inclusive) and ages, with a blend of activities that target different levels of ability and previous sporting engagement which will have been adhered to at a local level competition. Each Local Organising Committee (LOC) will hold two such events each academic year - one winter event and one summer event.

Getting Involved: In most cases schools need to have participated in an earlier stage of competition in order to qualify for the finals. However, as a LOC is developing new activities, or trying to engage a wider group of participants, there will often be access to additional 'open entry' events - details of which should be shared by your local SGO.

Making it School Games: Any competition which results as the culmination of a series of local inter-school competitions should follow the same School Games sport format. County final events should also follow the School Games brand guidelines - an online document accessible to all registered website users.

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