The school won the district award for Barnsley before being chosen by a panel of PE and school sport professionals as the overall county winner, in the awards coordinated by Yorkshire Sport Foundation (YSF). The panel included Sue Wilkinson MBE, Chief Executive of the Association for Physical Education.
The Active School Awards recognise how schools across South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire kept physical education, school sport and physical activity at the heart of school life during the last 12 months. There were nine district winners from across the two counties, with two overall county winners.
Oakhill were praised by the panel for consulting with pupils about their PE, school sport and physical activity provision, and demonstrated “outstanding practice” by implementing physical activity across multiple subjects in the curriculum.
A wide range of opportunities to be active have been taken up by the school, including taking part in Beat the Street, while the panel also acknowledged how the school increased its provision for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities, who have been among the most affected by the impact of Covid-19. The school created a 5k running challenge that used a QR code to not only engage pupils, but parents, carers and staff. In addition, every child in the school was sent a skipping rope so they could participate in a skipping challenge against other schools in the area.
Lisa McCarthy, Head of School at Oakhill Primary Academy, commented: “We are absolutely delighted to have been named the district winner for Barnsley, and also the South Yorkshire Active School of the Year.
“At Oakhill, our passion for PE, sport and active learning runs through everything we do. Our aim has always been for our children to have a positive attitude towards health and wellbeing and understand the benefits of physical activity. We work on positive behaviours gained from activity and sport leading to general wellbeing, good mood and good physical and mental health, and this has never been more important.
“We are so proud of our whole school community and what you can achieve together.”
Alex Ogden, PE, School Sport and Physical Activity Manager at YSF, commented: “The efforts Oakhill Primary Academy has gone to, to keep PE, school sport and physical activity at the heart of what they do has been exceptional.
“We were blown away by the amount of things they put in place, led by data and by speaking to pupils about what they would like to be part of. To achieve what they have done in any year would be hugely impressive, but even more so given the circumstances of the last academic year.
“It’s also really pleasing to see that the school has put things in place that means this will be sustainable, and will provide children with the best opportunity to create physical activity habits for life.”