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Sports and Wellbeing during Remote Learning

Sports and Wellbeing during Remote Learning
Karen Smith

During the time of remote learning, it is vital that pupils and staff look after themselves both in terms of keeping fit and in their wellbeing and mental health.

With these aims in mind, the sports department has put together a programme of options making full use of online resources, to offer something to suit all abilities and interests.   Using the school’s core vision statement to ‘explore, express and excel’ as a basis, each week a new set of programmes is published.  Challenges have been added each week and have included a 97 Challenge in honour of Canford’s 97th birthday at the start of term and a 5k running challenge.  Pupils were also asked to share what really motivates them which included motivational quotes from elite athletes and films that inspire them. Timetabled sessions are Tuesday and Thursday afternoons of an hour each at a minimum, with Shell Monday afternoon activities an additional scheduled slot.   Pupils are encouraged to also take part in activities and sports on other days as much as they can.

Warm up and cool down video sessions are followed by a series of workouts targeting legs, core, arms and full body. Sport specific workouts are also on offer, to keep those training in particular disciplines to maintain the optimum fitness levels during a time when they cannot actually take part as a team.  Dance routines include contemporary, ballet and Zumba and there are also lots of options for dance to different styles of music, while Yoga, Pilates and Crossfit are also included within the programme. 

Sports sessions complete, there is encouragement to wind down with some of the best sporting films, documentaries and books.

In terms of wellbeing, to complement the links available on the Gateway and school website and the pastoral support through individual tutor sessions, group house activities and health centre staff, there is sleep advice, nutrition advice and mental health resource.   A Midweek Wellbeing Moment encourages pupils to take time out from screens to explore the present moment, the beauty and simplicity of nature and the security of simple home comforts we are fortunate to be able to enjoy.   Week 3 of the programme focused on ‘Recharge’ – it has been a busy start to the term, and whether it is mastering a yoga pose or a simple act of kindness such as calling an isolated friend or relative, the emphasis is on taking care of yourself and each other.   ‘No Tech 90’ – switching off screens for 90 minutes – and the three step breathing programme to encourage a good night’s sleep have also been highlighted.

Tony Diprose, Director of Sport and Wellbeing at Canford, commented:

“While it is not the sporting term we had all anticipated, we are challenging every pupil to come out of this lockdown period having learned a new skill, gained sporting knowledge and with overall improved health and fitness. The new environment of remote learning alongside the many personal challenges faced by both our pupils and staff during this period has made it even more important than ever to help support them to stay fit and well, both physically and mentally.  We have been delighted and very impressed with the way that they have responded to our programme so positively and through our dedicated Instagram page we have really enjoyed seeing the different ways in which they are keeping healthy in this difficult time. Our intention is to keep improving the options available and also add new ideas to the programme after half-term”

5K challenge

Yoga challenge


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