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Schools Case Studies

Oxclose Community School

Date Added: Tue, 23 Feb 2010

Related tags: Fundraising, Success Story

The story of rowing at Oxclose Community School started about 3 years ago. I applied for £900 for the community chest fund in Washington and was very surprised to find a cheque for that amount on my desk a short while later. The original idea was to improve our existing fitness facilities which were old and rather well used to put it politely. Since then the schools finance manger, Karen Atkinson put in various other funding bids together with BSF money and the school budget. We managed to acquire enough funding for a state of the art fitness room filled with Technogym equipment, this opened in February 2008. The cost was £150,000 in total. We now have 3 Concept2 rowing machines in this fitness facility which is called Pulse. Over the last 3 years we have used the rowing machines to get nearly every child in school into a rowing team and competing against other pupils within school and out of school. 2 years ago I was sent a free flight to anywhere in the world because we entered the most teams out of any school in the country. We rowed to Chelsea in 2006. This was a sponsored event to help a 5 day trip to train at Chelsea FC football ground. The 40 pupils that went had to come and row 5 miles to get us to Chelsea basically and got sponsored for doing it.

This year we are entering every round. Pupils are either put into 4 or 8?s and every half term they go up to the fitness facility and row in their team within their PE lesson time. This takes about half of the lesson or a full lesson as the rounds start getting further. This year our pupils have loved seeing where they are in the league after round 1. I developed a rowing noticeboard two weeks ago and printed of all the league tables for Year 7 to 11 for 4?s and 8?s. Many pupils are now coming on a lunchtime with their full team and trying to beat their time. Although we are not high fliers we are in terms of how many pupils are actually competing in a team event in an inter school and intra school competition. Nearly every pupil in the school will do most of the rounds this year. This obviously helps with PESSCL results as in most schools my football team is mainly my basketball team and rugby team and athletics team and table tennis team and cross country team and the list goes on. Now all pupils in our school can compete in a team setting, they can get access to their results on the internet (cross curricular links) and can feel as though they are apart of a team. The atmosphere today when some teams did round 2 was superb. All the pupils were really keen to see what other teams had achieved.

The next progression for us is to start downloading pictures of each team. Also we need to start highlighting our most powerful rowers and putting them in an elite team for each year group. I?m not sure how we do that yet but will do this soon.


We have successfully entered approximately 80% of children in the school in all 6 rounds. The other 20% were Year 11 GCSE students and they had to do GCSE PE at this time. Each half term staff have been timetabled to spend a half a lesson in the Pulse Fitness Suite. We entered a vast amount of teams also in the bonus round where we hope to win and get an Olympic athlete visiting us at Oxclose. Overall, our kids really enjoy rowing. Lessons ideas such as long and short effects of exercise, benefits of exercise etc can spin off from the competition. To see instant results on the website is really encouraging for most of our children.

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