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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 5:01 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2016 8:44 am
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I'm keen to find out how 'inclusive' school sports are at the Herts/North London indies and grammars, particularly Habs Girls, St Albans High School, Abbott's Hill, Parmiters, Channing, NLCS.
I am aware there are key differences i.e. in actual sports taught - for example Habs offers hockey, whereas St Albans High offers lacrosse, and Queenswood is exceptional at tennis - but what I'm really interested in is how high the participation rate is. How easy is it for an enthusiastic player to take part at any level, either in a school team against other schools, in an 'internal' inter house match, or any other just for fun?
For example, at a recent inter house competition at St Albans High School each house was allowed to field just two teams for each of netball and lacrosse- one from 'lower' school and one from 'upper'. This effectively meant only 25% of girls were participating, with the remaining 75% sitting on the field all afternoon doing nothing, even if they wanted to play.
That's just an example, but how representative is it of indie schools as a whole?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 5:05 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 8:51 am
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I don't know about the specific schools but your post made me giggle - I would have been one of those delighted not to have to play !

I remember when we had the form hockey cup and 50% of the form were in the team (the rest were in the Netball team and at not much over 5ft that is much fund) - I ended up as goalie - we did quite well as 3rd years (year 9) ... until we had to play the really scary 6th formers :twisted: :twisted: :shock:


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 5:40 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:24 am
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Habs Girls don't play hockey - it's lacrosse. Very inclusive indeed in that & netball - as many as 5 teams are fielded in inter-school matches in the younger year groups. As for standard, occasionally a club player crops up, but really the standard is never so high as to scare off girls who see themselves as average players. Commitment to practice sessions is a key component in team selection. Tennis is of a very high standard at the moment, as there are a number of excellent players, all of whom compete to a high club level and beyond. Still plenty of opportunities for more 'normal' standard players though. I think they're running a tennis camp in Spain again this Easter too (open to all abilities). Athletics is open to all but team selection is more narrow (but that's down to how district meets are structured more than anything). Swimming well represented too. In short - there's something for everyone - and girls are warmly encouraged to join in at least one activity. It certainly isn't a place where only budding Olympians are welcomed!

Hope that helps! :D


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 5:57 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 2:01 pm
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Location: Herts
At DAO most students arrive not having had the chance to play Netball, Hockey and Rounders and some of the field events in Rounders.

Those who come to training are given the chance to represent the school. DAO plays Netball against NLCS, Habs, Parmiters, Queenswood, Haileybury, St Albans, Watford girls, Forest, Bancroft St Edmunds and a lot of other indie schools as many states do not play on Saturdays.

Hockey is played against Habs, Parmiters, Queenswood, Haileybury, Hitchin, Bishops Storkford . Royal Masonic etc. There are more injuries in Hockey than Netball so a larger pool of girls is required!

In the summer the Herts schools participate in a league for Athletics which ends in a County Final.

I would expect that any girl who attended training regularly would have the chance to participate in these events at any of these schools. I would be surprised to hear that any PE teacher would want to restrict themselves to an elite few. Sports is a great opportunity for lots of girls to excel. DG


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 8:49 pm 
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Approach to sports can vary between schools and it would be difficult to say whether the prevailing attitude is that of inclusivity or elitism. One way of gauging it is looking up a given school's list of sports fixtures (most schools seem to post them on their websites) to see how many different teams they have for their various sports. If the fixtures are just for teams A, B and C then it's probably not that inclusive (unless it's a very small school); if you see teams E , F and G playing, then probably most, if not all, of those who show some interest get a chance to have a go.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:51 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2016 8:44 am
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Thank you everyone for your replies. They were very helpful and insightful. Good idea to look at the fixture lists, although some schools make it harder to access these if you are not a current parent, whilst others are more transparent. From my experience, it's a topic parents find hard to get a clear, honest answer on from some schools....they can talk the talk, but reality is often different!


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