A round-up of Junior School Sport this term.

The Autumn Term has been about learning, practising and refreshing skills in all of the Junior School Sports teams and games lessons.

For the U8 teams this term has been their first adventure in representing the school in a sport and it was fantastic to watch the U8 Girls’ Netball teams take to the courts at Westbourne House School to play their first ever High 5’s matches in September. In preparing for the matches they had been told to focus on "being a meerkat", watching and moving around the court to create space. They made a phenomenal start to their netballing careers that afternoon and started to build confidence that has grown throughout the term.

It was in mid-November that the U8 Boys’ Football had their first taste of competitive matches. After 6 weeks of training and a House Football Tournament, they were ready and raring to take to the pitch. The Year 3 boys played Oakwood School. Westbourne House, Lancing Prep and Penthorpe at the Oakwood Festival, whilst another team played Ryde School and St John’s College at Hilsea. All the boys made huge leaps in their on-pitch communication as well as their playing skills. Over the last few weeks this improvement has continued and they are showing excellent endeavour and team work.

The mighty U9 Girls’ Netball have continued to focus on attacking play and finding space, turning and driving to receive a pass. Each team have approached their matches with determination and perseverance. At the triangular fixture with Highfield School and Westbourne House School in October, all the girls participated in every game and demonstrated their versatility across a range of positions. There was some sharp shooting from Maxine and some beautiful drives into space from Amelia and Scarlett.

The U9 Boys have had a great season, particularly enjoying The Prebendal School Football Festival in the late September sun. It was an afternoon of fun and teamwork for the U9s which was very much how the season continued for them.

At the beginning of term, the U10 Girls’ Hockey teams had matches that felt like they were being played in mid-summer. When they visited Barrow Hills School the sun shone throughout the afternoon which made the challenge of keeping their heads and eyes up much harder. They all displayed great determination which resulted in a couple of goals. Both the A and B teams played extremely well right from the off this term and should be proud of what they have achieved. Emily and Amelia mustered up the courage to play in goal and enjoyed wearing all associated hockey GK kit.

The U10 boys played with great commitment at the Football Festival we hosted at Hilsea Playing Fields in November. All the U10 teams have developed well this season and it has been great to see them start to work together well as teams.

The U11 Girls Football team had their first matches of the year at the end of September when they played in the Portsmouth Schools Cup Tournament. There were 10 girls' teams entered and the competition was strong. Despite having only had one training sessions, the girls adapted well, keeping their shape and looking to pressure the ball to retain possession. A term of U11 hockey has really allowed the girls to embed their skills of attack and defence, and there has been a super buzz of excitement every week. Approaching the term and sport with an open mind, we saw progress and development across the whole year group and we were a force to be reckoned with. Our defence and tackling have become our signature strengths across all teams.

The beginning of term was also busy for the boys U11A & B football teams. Both teams competed in the PGS tournament at Hilsea where they were joined by 20 teams from across the region to take part in a round-robin style event. They showed determination and grit, applying pressure to each team they played. The boys took this experience with them, supplemented by training in to a tournament at Prebendal the following week and have developed in skill and communication all term. Their football season ended with a trip to the Farlington pitches to play St John’s College. The pitches were playable but muddy which led to ‘FA Cup’ style matches with boys sliding around and having lots of fun!

U11 Girls Hockey IAPS Match Report
The U11A Girls Hockey team went to an IAPS tournament at Hurstpierpoint. We were placed sixth in our group. There was some excellent dribbling from Ella and good defence tactics from Aphaia. Hannah was very good in goal - she stopped lots of balls and was fearless! Shimmy was really good at midfield, she ran a lot and helped us to get the ball closer to the other goal. We played 5 matches and drew 4 and lost 1, but still managed to play well as a team. Despite the weather being on and off with rain, the girls played extremely well and everyone was really good at doing their job.

A selection of U11 girls were given the unique opportunity to face an older opposition team from Westbourne House on Wednesday. We expected their maturity and perhaps more advanced abilities to put our girls to task. However, as the game got underway it was clear that our girls were ready for the challenge. They learnt quickly from their competitors and began to use the entirety of the pitch in order to allow more space for each pass. The girls did need to travel more with the ball at times, as this would have given them the chance to really pressurise when opportunity arose. However, Aphaia and Lucy tracked the length of the pitch in order to be available and present for their team mates. No goals were forthcoming today, but the girls soaked up every minute of the game, making it a hugely worthwhile learning experience in their Hockey playing journeys.

By Bobbi