Alsager School

Sports News

Fund-raising Book

A fascinating book (featuring a collection of delightful colour photographs) written by former Deputy Head and our current Chair of Governors, Lindsay Purcell.

Lindsay says: “With 2021 being the 50th anniversary of comprehensive education in Alsager, I thought it an appropriate time for a history of the school to be written. I thoroughly enjoyed writing the book and reminiscing over many happy years at the school. I hope readers will experience the same enjoyment”. In September 2019 the school opened The Purcell Building, named after the popular Deputy Head who has a 42-year association with the school. The building houses the new Sixth Form College and five classrooms.

The cost of the book is £10. Parents/carers of current students can order the book through the school ParentPay system and it will be delivered via their child.

Please support the school in this fund-raising effort and at the same time, purchase an interesting memento of your local secondary school and a ‘must have’ stocking filler for the family at Christmas.

Two local shops will stock copies: Beading Amazing on Crewe Road and Handmade Naturals on Sandbach Road South. Alternatively the book can be ordered online at where anyone in the ST7 2 area will have free delivery (£2.95 for delivery outside of Alsager).

Alsager Christmas Toy Appeal

Dod College is pleased to announce that they will be supporting the Alsager Christmas Toy Appeal this year.It is a very worthwhile initiative and so easy to donate to. You simply send in your BRAND NEW chosen item to the College Office, unwrapped and unlabelled, and we will ensure it is taken to the charity collection point. The charity will provide parents of the recipients with wrapping paper and labels so they can prepare them for their children prior to Christmas Day. Donations of paper, tape and labels are equally welcome! As a very special consideration please can you consider the ideal gift for a teenager in a family as this age group are so frequently overlooked! No worries if this is too difficult to source…all toys welcome. Any donations must be made to us by the 4th December 2020. thank you in advance for your support.

What is it like to be a PE student?

The mission of Alsager School PE department is to foster a lifelong love for physical activity by improving knowledge, developing healthy bodies, and promoting a level of physical literacy which allows students to improve performance over time. 

In key stage 3 all learners take part in a range of activities including team and individual games, swimming, gymnastics, outdoor and adventurous activities, and dance. Fitness and how to maintain active, healthy lifestyles are taught throughout all units.

Over the course of their studies students will build knowledge based around the following key themes:

  • Attack
  • Defense
  • Formations
  • Playing areas
  • Rules and regulations
  • Tactics
  • Efficiency
  • Safety
  • Components of fitness relative to performance

Students will have opportunities to develop their knowledge of these areas through practical lessons. Lessons will have a skill focus, relevant to the activity and to enable improved performance over time.

PE has an integral role in developing life skills and personal development, as such, some core skills will overlap the units of work. We expect that by the end of key stage 3 all students can:

  • Work effectively as part of a team.
  • Understand the importance of physical activity in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
  • Understand the importance of sport in society.
  • Demonstrate resilience by acting on feedback and being determined to improve.
  • Follow rules and demonstrate the SPIRIT values at all times.
  • Be able to swim well enough to preserve life in an emergency situation.
  • Use their knowledge from other subjects to, for example, measure and time accurately, discuss trajectory, momentum, gravity, and the importance of being aerodynamic/streamlined.

In essence, we aim to help students to find an activity that they love. An activity that they may continue with outside of school and that ultimately will help them to lead a healthy, active lifestyle.

In Key stage four we offer two pathways: GCSE and Cambridge National. Both are great courses which allow students to pursue their love of sport. Through these courses you can improve your knowledge of anatomy and physiology and how changes in the body contribute to improved performance. We also learn about the effects of psychological preparation for sport and training.

Interview with a GCSE PE student.

What does it mean to be a PE student at Alsager School?

“In GCSE PE, you must have some levels of fitness to cope with demands on the practical side of things. However, your fitness will gradually improve over the course, as well as your theory knowledge! PE has lots of options for later in life, such as: Sport Analysis, Physiotherapy, Sports Science and many more. The skills and abilities which you learn will stay with you for the rest of your life. PE compliments Biology extremely well, as many of the things you will study in GCSE Biology – about the human body – you will go onto study in much greater depth in Physical Education.”

What skills have you gained from studying PE?

“I have learnt how to develop my own skills in practical sports, not only through physical skills but mentally as well, like how attitude to sport can greatly affect your performance.  I have gained an understanding of the science behind sport including muscles and joints and how they affect movement. I also learnt what revising technique works for me, and how to remember and retain information learnt in class.  The teachers help you find a way that works for you so you can achieve the best grade.”

Have your GCSE theory lessons helped you to understand how to improve your performance?

“When I first started the sports studies course in Year 9 I knew very little about the theory side of sport. However, now in Year 11 (after doing the course for almost 3 years) the practical and theory side of the course tie in nicely with each other as one of the topics is about changes of the body due to exercising. You are taught to see physical changes which are happening to your body whilst exercising (this happens during the practical side of things). The course teaches you how you can effectively complete a warmup, cool down and know how to recover from periods of exercise which is vital for preventing injuries and overall improves your performance.”

How have you been challenged in your GCSE lessons?

“The practical lessons can be physically challenging whilst extremely rewarding at the same time. In the course there have been numerous sports which I have done which vary in intensity, but your teachers are always there, watching, to guide you through on how to improve and develop your technique as well as your performance. In the classroom, some of the work can be difficult but it is achievable. There are regular tests over the course and knowledge recaps which require you to revise, however if you do revise and put the effort in, you will be glad. We get set regular homework, whether that be research on a certain sport, revision or finishing work off from class, by developing answers. The homework comes with some challenges but if you are on top of the theory work then you can see your grades start to boost in the future according to the effort which you put in.”

What do you enjoy most about GCSE PE?

“There are a variety of factors which I have enjoyed during the course. The practical side is enjoyable and fun, and there are bonuses. in Year 9 we went to Staffordshire University Sports Campus for the day to be coached by students studying sport with Staffs Uni. More so, the PE department run a sport tour every few years. I travelled twice to Flachau, Salzberg (February 2018 & 20) in the Austrian Alps on the tour and got the chance to film my skiing which contributed to my GCSE PE practical grade. The theory side is interesting, especially the Paper 1: anatomy, fitness and training which interlinks with Biology, so helps you in both subjects!”

What do you know now that you did not know before you studied GCSE PE?

“That PE isn’t just about sports and learning different skills to use in sport but that there’s science behind the sport and how different factors have effect on how you play the sport like lifestyles and even attitudes towards the sport. Also, that there is more to the whole GCSE than just how you play a sport, you can get a high grade still even if you are not the best at practical sports.”

Message from Mrs O’Neill

I hope that you have all had a good week.  We are now two thirds of the way through November and whilst I have yet to have a mince pie or slice of stollen, having just opened the third tub of Cadbury’s Heroes, I already know that I am not looking forward to January.  

Although many of us are managing to function reasonably well during this second lockdown period, I know that there are many who are finding things the second time round particularly hard.  Please do contact school if you feel we can support you.  Sometimes the process of talking to someone really does help. 

I have been asked a lot this week when I think this will all be over.  Last week I pondered whether I put my ‘poppies’ mask away for good or away for next year. 

This week has been particularly busy with Y11 taking their mock exams.  Their behaviour has been impeccable; they should feel really proud of the way they have conducted themselves during this period.  All of the invigilators have commented on how great they have been. Many chose to stay on site this week rather than going home in between exams; such is the draw of school.  I overheard a group of Y11 students who were sauntering across the yard, looking particularly cool (!), expecting them to be discussing football or a new game,  but the topic of conversation was about An Inspector Calls.  Our students are fantastic.  Year 10 have adapted to the new lunchtime arrangements really well, too.  I know they enjoy the freedom that being allowed off site at lunchtime brings but they are managing the change well. 

Our Y7 students recently wrote letters to Downing Street as part of their geography lessons, expressing their concerns for the environment and plastic pollution.  They received a detailed reply outlining plans for a greener future.  This is really promising and so lovely to see that our younger generation have got their priorities right.  

We have had a few colder days this week; the school heating is now fully functional but in keeping with the Covid guidance, windows and doors will remain open to ensure we are properly ventilating indoor space.  The building is warm but if your child is feeling the cold, please encourage them to wear a school jumper or a vest/white tee-shirt beneath their school shirt;  woolly tights and thick socks also work wonders.  Wet breaks can be particularly miserable and whilst we aim to get everyone out of the building where possible, if it is pouring down we keep everyone indoors.  We would love to be able to install huge canopies or even a marquee but unfortunately the Covid budget does not stretch that far.  If there are any parents who have some connections and feel they could help us out, please do get in touch. 

Thank you, as always, for your continued support; the kind messages you send in to our staff are very much appreciated.  Whatever your plans for the weekend, enjoy a lovely break. 

Take care and stay safe. 

“Only the guy who isn’t rowing, has time to rock the boat”. (Jean-Paul Sartre)