At Marlborough House sport really IS for ALL, so we strive to create as many and varied opportunities for all boys and girls at all levels of ability both in learning and competitive environments. Our highly qualified coaches ensure that enjoyment, inclusion and preparation from the youngest age are the keys to the success of sport at MHS.
We believe that school sport, in all its forms, experienced in a safe and supportive environment, is a unique and vital contributor to a pupil’s physical development and well-being. We also recognise the benefits of ‘letting off steam’ in the fresh air (or in our spacious sports hall if the British weather turns on us!).
P.E and Games lessons combined with weekly inter-school fixtures, seasonal House matches, internal tournaments and a very full sporting evening clubs activities programme, form the backbone of MHS Sport, but additionally break times are also seen as daily opportunities to participate in sport. Tennis courts, astroturf and cricket nets are available throughout break times in the summer term.
P.E is taught from Nursery age by subject specialists and the very full programme sees the children learning to swim in our outdoor pool and being gradually introduced to ball skills, gymnastics, trampolining, mini tennis, badminton, handball, and eventually cross-country running.
From Year 1, the children’s games programme includes all the main winter and summer sports; football, rugby, hockey, cricket and tennis for boys and hockey, netball, lacrosse, cricket and tennis for girls, plus athletics in the summer term. Swimming in our heated outdoor pool is also part of the summer programme throughout the school. Prep school children have Games almost every afternoon and teams compete very successfully against local schools in weekly matches.
A great strength of the school is the way that pupils encourage one another to participate and try their best, delighting in the personal success of others
Expert coaching by school staff and external coaches in a wide range of sports including swimming, football, cricket, tennis, gymnastics, trampolining and cross-country enables high achievement and success in regional and national inter-school competitions
In addition to the main team sports, there are also opportunities to try cross-country running, karate and shooting; our rifle range is used for .22 live Bore Shooting all year round and nearby Bewl water and Bedgebury are used for sailing and mountain biking respectively. We even offer two dedicated outward bounds courses - one locally for year 6 and one in Devon for year 8.
Our broad curriculum gives children from Nursery to Year 8 increasing self-confidence in their ability in a variety of team and individual sporting pursuits. Every year we see self-confidence built out on the pitch extend into other areas of the children's learning. The comprehensive P.E programme we run at MHS combined with our enviable player to coach ratio enables all children to contribute and compete. When it comes to sport, we believe that is what makes us such a special and unique Prep School.
Pupils set themselves challenging personal targets and willingly take part in many teams, proudly representing their school
At Marlborough House we have been working with the concept of the growth mindset for nearly two decades with huge success, we are now applying this within the SOLO taxonomy (Structure of the Observed Learning Outcome).
All the boys and girls at Marlborough House are exposed to SOLO taxonomy in the P.E. and Games lessons, allowing them to see their own progress, not other pupils: the keystone to their enjoyment. Some will accelerate faster and others at a slower rate in the understanding of sports and techniques and implementing them in games or competition situations. The important fact is that they continually move along the series of progress markers. Questioning and consideration of their performance allows them to understand their own specific learning needs.
This enables us to deliver excellent lessons with national performers and beginners in the same classes, as all have their own outcomes dependent on their levels of performance. This ties in with our schools ethos of excellence and inclusion for all, regardless of ability. Using Solo taxonomy helps ensure children are well considered and confident - learn to perform without being negatively self-critical. With no need to compare themselves to their peers as the benchmark, suddenly sport becomes a personal journey moving forward in all its myriad of forms, not a competition with their friends.
In P.E., Games lessons, or Sporting clubs and events such as outdoor education, this structure allows children to be confident in their own efforts and see the value of working hard to improve.