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How to plan for a school sports day?

It’s that time of year again where the end of the academic term draws near, and it’s time to think about. Before you saying goodbye to another great school year, there are mid of term activities to get through. One of the more enjoyable tasks that pre- school teachers face is organizing the sports day.

Sports day in a pre-school is markedly different to sports days in secondary school. It’s as much about joining in and having fun as it is about competitiveness and winning! The activities, races and games are likely to include simplified, fun versions of track and field events - though still, of course, involving physical exertion and skill!

Done right, a sports day is the perfect way to wrap up the school year, and send both children and parents off on a positive note - so it’s important to try and get it right.

While the thought of organizing school sports day may feel like just another chore on your seemingly endless list of things to do, Nov-Jan is the perfect time to get planning.

So what does the perfect school sports day look like? Here are some things to consider:

Pre-school sports day organization

Staying organized and preparing everything in good time is the best thing you can do to help stay calm and in control when it comes to preparing for your school sports day.

Set a time and a date, and make sure both pupils and parents are aware

Get a date in the diary well in advance and make sure that parents are aware of it so they can make arrangements to attend.

Start to plan what games you will include and a timetable for the event

Timing is everything when it comes to ensuring the day runs smoothly - think about how long you want the day to last, which events you’ll have and how long each will take. Don’t forget to factor in breaks. Decide whether you’ll present winners with prizes at the end of each race or have a prize giving ceremony at the end of the day.

Which teachers will be involved?

Sports days require a lot of manpower, whether it’s directing parents to the car park, handing out refreshments, overseeing races, blowing whistles or awarding prizes, you’ll need to make sure teachers know who’s doing what and when!

Think about refreshments

It’s a good idea to make sure you have planned for refreshments as hopefully it will be a hot day and you’ll all be in need of some cooling down. You could ask parents to bring picnics themselves to help keep costs down, but make sure you provide bottles of water as a minimum.

Think about what equipment you’ll need

You can’t win a sack race without the sacks, nor can you have a prize giving ceremony without any prizes! Once you’ve made your plan make sure you have all the equipment and materials you need to put your ideas into practice.

Make sure everyone feels included

Sports day can be daunting for some pupils, particularly those who are not as sporty or confident as others. Make sure you include something for everyone, not just the traditional, often highly competitive races. Coming up with a programme of games and activities that challenge different skills will help all children feel included. Team games and races are another great way of encouraging children to come together and work constructively to try to win. Try to instill an attitude of sportsmanship, where participating and trying your best is recognized and rewarded. Discouraging overly competitive behavior goes hand in hand with this ethos. You could award prizes for sporting conduct as well as winning events.

Make sure you are clear on the rules of each activity and that everyone understand how to take part. Let children ask questions before you begin so no one gets confused or feels as though they have been treated unfairly. If you’re really organized, get the rules out to teachers beforehand so they can practice the events with their class during P.E. lessons.

Remember, pre- school sports day is about making children feel included, and feel a sense of pride and achievement. With that in mind, you should be able to plan and run a sports day that is enjoyable for children, parents and staff alike!

Fit Futures's Sports Day at Preschool

Good sports to play at a primary school sports day

Individual activity – Track Races /Obstacle course /Balancing race

Team activity – Ex- Relay race

And of course, not forgetting…

Mums and dads race!

Once your sports day is over

Once all of the races are over, it’s a great idea to gather everyone together and have a short speech about what a great day you have all had, and to thank all the teachers for their hard work. If you haven’t already, you could give out cups, medals, rosettes and prizes at the end of the day, too.

You can also use sports day to inspire some fun activities once everyone is back in the classroom, too. They could use the sports statistics for maths activities, write reports and stories about the day in English, and draw pictures or make cards to take home to their parents to remind them of what a fantastic day they had!

Organizing the perfect sports day takes a little thought and preparation, but putting in the care and effort really does make all the difference and is the perfect way to celebrate the end of term!

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