Finalists in the Independent School of the Year Awards
On Tuesday 10th October, Mr Armitage and Ms Nicholson attended the 'Independent School of the Year Awards' in London.
The awards are judged by a panel of current and former Heads. Rupert House was a finalist in the ‘Outstanding New Initiative’ category for our ‘Move 2 Think’ programme. Unfortunately, we didn’t win, but we were the only Prep school in the category and indeed the local area to be finalists in any of the award categories and given the number of entries, we were very pleased that the initiative had been recognised nationally in this way.
At Rupert House, we are continually seeking ways to improve and provide our pupils with the best possible start on their sporting and academic journeys. Our vision is to prepare focused, balanced, active children, with a wide range of skills, to face whatever their future brings.
As part of the school’s recent move to full co-education, we re-structured our sports department with a view to revolutionising the way in which we teach sport to our pupils. One of our resulting objectives is to expand our already established and successful approach to a rich academic curriculum by embracing the proven effects of physical activity on intellectual development, as well as the self-awareness and resilience developed through sporting endeavour.
A significant part of this is a new whole school initiative which links the body and mind to benefit our children academically, behaviourally and physically. The positive association between physical activity and academic performance is long established with numerous research studies showing the positive impact of movement on cognitive skills and attitudes, classroom behaviours and achievements. Rupert House is using this scientific evidence to enhance the learning experiences of our children with a program we call ‘Move2Think’.
Our ultimate aim with the ‘Move2Think’ initiative is to provide a daily dose of physical activity for every child, every day, of every week, of every term. It kicks off every day of the school week, with each year group’s activities taking place prior to the first timetabled lesson. This energises and engages pupils and sets them up for the day ahead. Activities include running, yoga, energising workouts, mindfulness, meditation & breathing, balance & coordination skills, stretching & Pilates.
Move2Think embraces the relationship between mind and body, and the use of movement and activity to enhance learning. It helps children to understand that the body and mind are not separate entities but integrated systems which depend on each other - the health and performance of one has a direct impact on the other. This is very much be linked to our whole-school focus on ‘Growth Mindset’.
- Enhances intellectual, academic and cognitive ability, and executive function.
- Teaches children to be self-aware and to self-regulate.
- Teaches children the skills to navigate relationships.
- Increases self-esteem through achievement.
- Develops awareness of the advantages of team over self.
- Teaches the importance of looking after yourself physically as well as mentally.
- Gives children the chance to exhibit virtues and not just values.
- Includes breathing techniques to achieve a focused calm state of flow for learning.
Since starting this initiative in September, we have seen positive results throughout the school. Pupils’ concentration has increased and fitness levels have improved. Teaching staff have noticed that the children are alert and attentive from the moment lessons begin and have higher energy levels throughout the day. Move2Think has also improved classroom attitudes and pupils’ general behaviour.
We’ve had a 100% positive response from parents who say that they have noticed an improvement in the energy levels and fitness of their children who, in turn, have given their parents positive feedback on their experience with the initiative.