On Thursday 10th November Brentwood Schools' Pre-Preparatory pupils were treated to an extra special visit from two of Lloyds TSB's "local heroes". Sprinter Sam Watts and Julien Allwood, a Long Jump / Triple Jumper both came to Year One classrooms to talk to pupils about their sports and give the children the opportunity to find out more about being an athlete and competing at the top level.
38 lucky pupils, aged five to six, were split between two classes to meet the athletes, who hope to compete in the London 2012 Olympics. The day was organised as part of a two week project on the Olympics, to make pupils aware of forthcoming preparations at the school, which has been chosen as an official Olympic Training Venue for Modern Pentathlon for the 2012 Games.
Pupils were taught special Olympic lessons throughout the two week period, including lessons about the Modern Pentathlon, the Olympic Rings, the Medal Ceremony, the Olympic Mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville and the Olympic Torch, which pupils made in class using papier maché. Pupils also looked at a list of competing nations and located them on a world map as well as learning about their flags. Pupils were given the opportunity to design their own Olympic kit and held their own mini Pentathlon to try out some of the events and record their results. Classrooms were also decorated with Olympic bunting and mascots!
In addition, pupils were asked to look at the press release on the school's website, then created their own Olympic Planning team and set up Headquarters in Year One. The children were asked to think about how Headquarters would work and decided who would be allowed in. They then discussed the schools' facilities, and, using information from the athletes came up with a timetable for a typical day at the Olympic Training Camp.
As part of the project, pupils were asked to prepare questions about being an athlete and each pupil was able to ask an athlete their question. The Athletes shared information about who they are, what they do and even shared some video footage of them competing in competitions. The children were then asked to change into P.E. kits later in the afternoon, for a demonstration of skills by the athletes in each of their events. Pupils were also able to ask further questions and even try out their skills!
Brentwood School has a fine sporting tradition and is well known as a centre of excellence for fencing, producing a stream of national and international fencers, winning the overall title at the prestigious Public Schools' Fencing Competition more than 30 times since 1962, most recently in 2011. Former Head of School, Alex O'Connell, represented Great Britain at the Beijing Olympics and visited the Pre-Prep children to talk about his fencing experience on Wednesday 16th November 2011.
The School has also produced international standard footballers, cricketers, squash and netball players. Alumni include Frank Lampard, the Chelsea and England footballer, Eric Peters, former Captain of Scotland's Rugby Union Team, Peter Barker, England Squash International and Ralph Dellor, cricket commentator and first chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board Coaches Association.
The Headmistress, Mrs Wilson, commented
"The children thoroughly enjoyed the Athletes' visit, which has further enhanced the children's work on the Olympics. The project has given the children many ideas of what it will be like over London 2012 and what will be involved when the school will host the Games-time training venue for the athletes competing in the Modern Pentathlon. Our pupils are all really excited that Brentwood has been selected as one of the official nationwide training venues for the London 2012 Games and we hope that the school's close involvement with the Games will inspire our pupils to take on new challenges and seek to be the best they can."
To see a gallery of images taken at the Julien Allwood & Sam Watts visit please click here