At Bedford Girls’ School, we want each and every pupil to enjoy regular participation in curricular and co-curricular sports. We recognise that performance is underpinned by confidence, happiness and a sense of wellbeing and we strive to instil a life-long love of physical activity in all of our girls.
The importance of all girls' education and sport participation
At a time when two thirds of 14-year-old girls admit to taking part in no regular sporting activity, many citing self-consciousness in front of boys as a primary reason, the benefits of an all girls’ education cannot be overstated. From Years 3 to 13, an emphasis on inclusivity, teamwork and peer support boosts self-confidence and promotes enthusiasm, focus and fun. Furthermore, unlike many coeducational schools, our expertise and time are never split along gender divides, ensuring we are able to offer a vast array of sports without compromising on the standard of delivery or restricting the numbers of those who can take part.
Specialist teaching and outstanding coaching
Our expert teaching and coaching staff, many of them international athletes themselves, are able to provide specialist tuition to both groups and individuals guaranteeing that every girl receives the right level of training she needs to make progress. Whether developing our elite performers or opening-up sport for everyone, we make sure all abilities are catered for and that everyone is challenged, extended and encouraged to meet and exceed her potential.
Fostering sport for all and nurturing elite sportswomen
We recognise that sporting excellence and inclusivity are dependent on the provision of coaching and competition outside of normal school hours. As well as early morning and evening coaching, we maximise the opportunities open to the girls by offering an extensive programme of weekend and holiday fixtures and tournaments. Participation is encouraged for everyone, not just our elite performers, and we often field A, B, C and D Teams in every age group at each competition.
Excellent facilities and extensive co-curricular sport
Our excellent indoor and outdoor facilities, including swimming pool, gymnasium, all weather sports pitch, boathouse and tennis courts, enable us to offer multiple sports, simultaneously, for different age and ability groups across the school. They also allow us to offer an extensive and diverse range of co-curricular sport and fitness activities alongside those taught in timetables lessons. Close relationships with, and proximity to, some of the UK’s leading specialist sport and leisure centres also mean we can bolster our portfolio by offering activities such as skiing, equestrian and water sports to the girls within a very short distance of the main site.
A strategic approach to sporting provision
Since the foundation of Bedford Girls’ School, our strategic approach to the development of a holistic and inclusive sport and fitness programme has seen our girls win at least one national, or regional, competition in every curriculum sport and in July 2012, rowers Lottie Bruce and Robyn Armstrong won gold for Great Britain in an international against France. Outstanding performances in athletics, netball, hockey, rounders, lacrosse, badminton and tennis have achieved victories against some of the UK’s toughest competition and excellence in disciplines such as swimming, cross country and fencing have seen individual pupils rise dramatically through the national rankings.
Above all, our approach to sport and our overall ethos mean that, as well as spotting and developing outstanding talent, our staff have the specialist knowledge, personal experience and creativity to ensure all girls benefit from the manifold benefits of regular participation in sport. As a result, pupils gain a sense of genuine pride, self-worth, happiness and achievement they will carry onto university and beyond.