We have had a wonderful and productive term from a sporting perspective.
It has been another excellent rugby season for all the boys involved. The School has consistently fielded up to 14 teams from U12 to 1st XV at weekends, which is testament to all the hard work that has gone into the programme. Players and coaches have thrived on the challenges posed by another testing fixture list across the age groups.
The Girls’ Rugby Club commenced in the second half of the Autumn Term and will continue next term. They train before school on the Astro and have focused on the technical and tactical aspects of the game. They have also used the sports hall with the soft mats in situ to introduce contact techniques as well.
On an individual level, we can be extremely proud of the many KES rugby players who have been selected for the Bath Academy pathway. We have seven pupils in Year 10 in the U15 Developing Player Programme group and a special mention must go to Henry Derwent, Noah Murray, Will Rawstorne and Frankie Foster, who are in Bath Rugby’s U16 Player Development Group and will play against other Academies over the coming months.
Looking ahead, both players and coaches are excited about the sevens season, where the U13s, U14s, U16s and Seniors will be taking part in the highly prestigious Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools tournament in March. The Seniors will also travel up to Sedbergh, in Cumbria, to compete in the National Tens competition, which is always an incredible experience coming up against some of the best rugby schools in the country.
The girls’ hockey season has been an extremely successful one both in terms of performance and participation. The 1st XI has got better and better, playing some scintillating attacking hockey to the delight of their loyal support during Saturday fixtures. They went on a fabulous run in the National Plate, reaching the last 16 before being knocked out by Taunton School on a shootout after an enthralling 2-2 draw. Hockey Captain, Bella Lowton, has also been playing Senior National League Hockey with Team Bath Buccaneers Ladies’ 1st XI and has been training with the Wales U18 National Women’s Squad. The 2nd XI also entered their own National Competition, where they competed well with several other schools’ 1st XIs.
Participation rates have been as high as ever, with over 100 fixtures being played across the age groups involving over 250 girls. The high demand for hockey amongst the Senior age groups has meant that there have been 3rd, 4th and even 5th XI fixtures during the term. As the boys’ hockey season rapidly approaches, preparations are well under way for the Senior pre-season trip in early January. The selected players will train at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, a regular training venue for the Great Britain hockey squads, as well as playing matches against Sir William Borlase Grammar School, Abingdon School, and Dr Challoner’s Grammar School. The indoor season has seen some exciting hockey played. The U16 girls put in some great performances at the Avon County Tournament. They did not quite do enough to qualify for the Regional Finals, but were the only team to take points from the eventual County Champions, Clifton College, in a closely fought draw.
Finishing as County Runners up, the Boys’ U18 Indoor squad travelled to the Regional round at Wellington School. Despite fielding a small squad, the boys played consistently some excellent hockey. They were unbeaten in their group and qualified for the Regional Finals Night where they faced a four-way play-off with Clayesmore, Millfield and Katharine Lady Berkeley’s (KLB) for the place in the National Finals at Whitgift School in January. With victories against Millfield and Clayesmore, the last game against KLB was the decider; 1-1 at fulltime, but unfortunately, we fell at the final hurdle losing out on penalty shuttles!
The Autumn Term sees the start of the netball programme with our entry into the National Schools competition. The margins are small at this level, and the U19 lost narrowly in the semi-final having scored an incredible 61 goals with only 13 against in the pool matches. The U16 and U14 campaigns also identified a real strength in this area, and with a full season to look forward to the girls will undoubtedly attack January with hard work and determination and ensure that they learn from this experience.
With the backdrop of the World Cup grabbing the attention, the Senior football programme ran successfully throughout the term. The highlight of the season to date was the 1st XI match against Marlborough College. The team were winning 3-1 and then 4-2 but conceded 2 goals towards the end of the game to be drawing 4-4 with 5 mins to go, KES then scored an amazing 3 goals in 5 mins to come out winners 7 – 4!
Of course, the Sports department runs hand in hand with Physical Education, and there were various trips for our pupils to enjoy. Forty of our GCSE PE pupils visited the University of Bath, tackling a strength and conditioning session and fitness testing, including working in the laboratory, before finishing with a lecture on preparing an athlete for peak performance. The highlight of the day for the pupils and the staff observing was the 3-minute submersion in an ice bath! Our A Level PE pupils made a trip to Cardiff University and afterwards undertook a track cycling experience at the Velodrome in Newport. We also hosted an A Level and PE Conference with 50 teachers from the local area sharing best practice, before listening to the special guest, Ross Howitt, Principal Examiner and Lead Moderator for examining boards.