Boys’ Sport

Sport is an integral part of life at Eaton House The Manor Prep, whether boys are representing the school or their house or simply learning to be part of a team.

Pre-Prep sports

The Manor can justly say it has a unique climate of sport for a Pre-Prep. Sport pervades all aspects of school life and the boys have an unquenchable thirst for it. They take both the broad range of the sports they are exposed to, and the depth to which we develop them at such a young age, absolutely in their stride.  The younger boys take part in football, cross-country, basketball, dodgeball, tag rugby, gymnastics, hockey, swimming, cricket and athletics, to name just some. Our boys have weekly PE, games and swimming lessons (from Year 2) as well as enjoying various sports clubs and squads.

We really want all the boys to enjoy their sports as a natural counterpart to the academic rigours of the day and give them the opportunities to have fun and express themselves.

Prep School sports

The boys go on to participate in a wide variety of sporting activities and have the opportunity to be involved in sport every day as we strongly believe that it is essential for a healthy lifestyle. We aim to ensure that every boy can be successful in at least one sport and hope that over time, the boys will find the sport that is right for them.

Every boy can be part of a team and we believe that this is important for their confidence and personal growth.

We require all the boys to play with passion and commitment, whatever their level. All boys are encouraged to play games in the right spirit, with good sporting behaviour promoted and celebrated.

There is a chance for outstanding sportsmen to receive ‘colours’ in recognition of their commitment, attitude, effort and ability and there are lots of opportunities for the boys to enter sporting competitions and challenges throughout the year from national competitions to house competitions.

Many will become so interested in playing a particular sport that they go on to join squads and specialist extracurricular clubs to help them progress faster. This is an important part of a boy’s day as it helps in the development of life skills and friendships as well as helping the boys develop their skills.

Alongside many other sports, football, rugby and cricket are at the heart of our sporting programme and competitive matches and competitions against other schools are a highlight of each week.

Athletics

In the summer term athletics runs alongside cricket.

All the boys participate in athletics and perform running, jumping and throwing events which they learn in their PE lessons and which culminate in the annual sports day event towards the end of the summer term, in which all the boys take part.

In addition to the running, jumping and throwing events, a number of the boys will also be involved in house-based events such as the tug of war and the relays.

We usually enter a number of athletics meetings which usually involve a large number of prep schools from around the southeast region. We regularly gain success at these competitions, with our senior teams winning the Tonbridge and Epsom prep school competitions.

Some old boys from Eaton House have gone on to great success:

  • Henry Johnstone, who broke all the sprint records at Wellington and ran for the county
  • Jude Russell, who performed hurdles and high jump for Surrey at the Nationals

Cricket

In the summer, we turn to the gentle sport of cricket, in addition to athletics.

We divide our games sessions up to focus on the core skills of bowling, batting and fielding, giving all the boys as much exposure as possible to all these important elements.

The junior boys play the pairs cricket format using Windball or Incrediball balls, which enables all the boys to experience bowling, batting, wicket keeping and fielding all in one game.

The teams usually consist of up to six pairs per school. The senior school boys start to play 11-a-side cricket, and the Year 6 boys are introduced to some hard-ball cricket. All the Year 7 and Year 8 school matches are played with a hard ball.

We have nets on Clapham Common, so every year group gets an opportunity to practise in the nets during games afternoons.

We regularly enter competitions and we have gained successes in a number of them

  • finalists in the Tonbridge U11 prep schools tournament
  • finalists in the Cedars U10 prep school tournament
  • group winners in the Dulwich College U13 prep schools competition

We also regularly have a number of Eaton House boys selected to play at representative level for the London district team, we have had Eaton House boys go on to represent Surrey at junior level, including Jasper Sodha and Jack Hunter-Lees.

Football

In the autumn term, our focus sport is football.

The boys can be involved in playing football almost every day of the week through their games sessions, squad sessions, school matches, house matches and morning football club.

Junior games lessons for Year 4 and Year 5 take place on Tuesday afternoon. The boys learn core skills and develop their match play. School matches for the juniors will also take place during games lessons and this gives the boys lots of opportunity to play in competitive matches against other schools. The fixtures comprise up to six teams.

Wednesday afternoons are for the seniors (Years 6 to 8). They continue to develop their core skills and technique and will also develop more tactical awareness and understanding, in addition to playing inter-school matches.

Year 6 matches still tend to consist of five-a-side or six-a-side teams. Year 7 and Year 8 combine to form 11-a-side teams.

Boys of all ages are involved in tournaments and competitions, some of which are played at the weekends. In recent years we have gained a lot of success:

  • Our under-13s reached the quarter-finals of the ISFA national schools cup.
  • Our under-12s reached the semi-final of the ESFA National Small Schools Cup.
  • Our under-U13s got to the National Finals of the IAPS six-a-side competition.
  • Many of our junior teams won local and regional tournaments.

Some of our old boys have gone on to achieve fantastic success in football. Jack Hunter-Lees has represented England for the independent schools. Jude Russell won two national titles with Surrey and is currently playing for Crystal Palace under-23s. Both of these boys won scholarships from Eaton House to their senior schools Charterhouse and Whitgift respectively and  went on to win a number of national titles with them.

Rugby

In the spring term we turn our attention to rugby, a chance for the boys to get ‘down and dirty’.

This will be the first time that the Year 4 boys will have played contact rugby and during their games lessons and squad sessions we pay special attention to learning the correct technique of tackling so that they are well prepared for school matches.

We also pay close attention to the core skills of handling and passing the ball, a theme which runs through all of the age groups. The RFU have adapted schoolboy rugby hugely in recent years so as to make it a safe and inclusive game, open to everyone who wants to play. We make sure at Eaton House that we adhere very closely to the RFU rules throughout all of the age groups.

The junior boys will continue to play small-sided matches of five, six or seven teams as will the year six boys in their games sessions. The Year 7 and Year 8 boys start to play the more expansive form of rugby comprising  nine, twelve or thirteen players.

Successes in rugby have included Dominic Vincent, who was selected for the Surrey development squad whilst playing in year 8 for Eaton House. We have also had successes at local tournaments across the age groups.

Hockey

At Eaton House we recognise the need to give as diverse an experience as possible with sport.

We offer hockey as a team sport for the boys to participate in across the age groups with a number of fixtures across the term. The boys will learn hockey and develop their skills in their spring term PE lessons and play matches during some of their games lessons.

We have established good links with community clubs outside school and many of our boys attend these sessions and play for the club teams.

Other Sports

Throughout the year the boys have the opportunity to be involved in a number of other sports and competitions.

The philosophy of the PE department at Eaton House is to offer as wide a variety of sport as possible to give equip the boys with a multitude of skills that can be applied across a range of sports.

In the spring term the boys get a chance to participate in cross-country both in lessons and in running club. All the boys run in the annual Prep School cross-country event held towards the end of the spring term. The better and more enthusiastic runners go on to compete for the school in a number of cross-country events. The boys have achieved great success at many of these cross-country meetings.

In the summer term, boys who enjoy tennis can be part of the Eaton House The Manor tennis teams and can expect to play in three or four tennis fixtures over the course of the summer term.

In addition to the curriculum PE and games, the junior boys participate in swimming lessons and karate lessons on Monday mornings. These lessons are on a curriculum carousel, so all the Year 4 and Year 5 boys will get an equal amount of exposure to both activities. The swimming lessons are held at the Latchmere Leisure Centre and the karate takes place at the school.

The PE department consists of two full-time staff and part-time staff, all of whom have a lot of experience and expertise in a wide variety of sports. The PE staff are also ably supported by class and subject teachers on games afternoons.

The Manor can justly say it has a unique climate of sport for a Pre-Prep. Sport pervades all aspects of school life and the boys have an unquenching thirst for it. They take both the broad range of the sports they are exposed to, and the depth to which we develop them at such a young age, absolutely in their stride.  Boys take part in football, cross-country, basketball, dodgeball, tag rugby, gymnastics, hockey, swimming, cricket and athletics, to name just some. Our boys have weekly PE, games and swimming lessons (from Year 2) as well as enjoying various sports clubs and squads. We work on the basis that the more the boys put in, the more they get out.

We aim to foster a love of being active and ensure we cater to all our boys, including those of high ability. Our ethos is to build the boys physically, mentally and emotionally through our PE programme with character development taking just as much precedence as skill acquisition. House sport gives plenty of opportunity for competitive play and takes place throughout the year. Fixtures are also organised with a variety of schools in a range of sports and by Year 3 our boys are representing the school at fixtures on a regular basis.