Sport - Durston House

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It is true what they say – a healthy body promotes a healthy mind. Sport and fitness are a vital part of the education of any well-rounded pupil, and here at Durston these are promoted enthusiastically. We want each boy and girl to leave Durston House skilled in sport, but more importantly, with an interest and passion that he or she can take with them throughout their life.

As a leading Prep School, we proudly offer pupils extensive exposure to the traditional sports of Football, Rugby, Cricket, Athletics and this year, Netball. Over the course of the year, pupils have the opportunity to participate and develop skills in these sports, as well as those in Basketball, Hockey, Tennis, Cross Country, Handball, Table Tennis and Dodgeball. Not only are pupils given the opportunity to develop their skill level, but fitness is promoted and closely monitored each year through Health and Fitness.

“Durston House has really helped our child develop their academic, social and inter-personal skills. They thoroughly enjoy the complementary curriculum activities on offer, which focus on the further growth of their body, mind and soul.”

All pupils are capable of achieving a basic skill level, and complete each year with greater knowledge and ability than the year before, whether that is being able to dribble a ball successfully, rallying for a longer period with a partner, or developing the correct technique when tackling on the Rugby field. Through the varied programme of sports available to a pupil, we hope there is always at least one sport that captures his or her interest and leads them to explore it further, outside school, or when they have left us, at Senior School and beyond.

  • Sports Day

    Throughout the Summer Term, Athletics is a focus in PE and Games sessions. Whether a pupil is 5 or 13, he or she gets to don their running shoes and put their skills to the test. Time is spent training, running, jumping and throwing, in preparation for our annual Sports Day. This is an important occasion in the school calendar, bringing pupils, staff and parents together to celebrate the pupils’ effort and persistence in displaying their talents.

    In June each year, pupils in Middle and Upper School spend Sports Day at Perivale Athletics Track, in inter-House athletics competition, both on the track and in the field. Pupils take part in a number of events, which they would have chosen previously. They run in anything from a sprint race to long distance, or compete in anything from the javelin throw to the triple jump. After a break for a picnic lunch, finals are held, and the four Houses and a large number of parents cheer on the competition. At the end of the day, the results are tabled and the winning House is announced to much excitement. Individual winners are awarded their cups or medals at a special assembly the following week. The winning House Captain receives the Sports Day Cup at Prize Day. Though we celebrate success, it is not all about those who win, as Sports Day offers every pupil the opportunity to participate, to try their hardest at something that might be new to them, putting their temperament and skills to the test. Generous applause is given to every competitor on Sports Day.

    Not to be outdone, Pre-Prep and Junior School pupils have their own Sports afternoon. These take place at Castlebar Field and again pupils compete in their Houses in many different events, everything from high jump to hurdles, all specially tailored for pupils of Pre-Prep and Junior School age. Encouragement is provided by cheering parents and pupils are rewarded for their endeavours.

    Here at Durston, we believe that the best way to nurture our Olympic hopefuls is through positive encouragement and motivation and both of these occasions engender these. As the whole school community comes together, once again, Durston boys and girls are able to flourish, within their capabilities.

  • Sportsmanship

    There is no greater place than the sports field to develop a pupil’s character, not only in competition with an opponent, but also in competition with themselves. Durston House takes sportsmanship seriously and considers it a necessary part of a pupil’s education. Fair play and respect for opponents are encouraged, as well as modelled by staff, throughout a pupil’s time at school.

    Although the rugby field, hockey AstroTurf or tennis court are the obvious places to observe sportsmanship, pupils are asked to translate the same values to a classroom, music venue or school corridor. Here, too, we can see a moment of graciousness from one pupil to another, having battled in competition in a Mathematics Challenge or the Verse Speaking Competition, one victorious and the other forlorn. Often, a knowing look and a handshake signal the end of ‘battle’, and the search for a new challenge begins, building character and providing further learning opportunities for pupils.

    Pupils learn the importance of winning and losing from early on; through the many House Competitions, sports fixtures, class challenges or year group tasks, pupils experience the highs and lows of victory and defeat, which we hope they meet with humility and respect, treating ‘those two imposters just the same’.

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