Girls’ Sport

Whether it’s the development of crucial life skills, the value of competition or simply the sheer enjoyment that it brings, sport is integral to the daily routine at Eaton House.

In addition, we believe that being regularly active enhances not only the girls’ academic performance but also, more crucially, their physical and emotional well-being. A healthy body can so often lead to a healthy mind.

All our sports are taught and coached by subject specialists with a real passion for making sport accessible for all.  We are also firm believers in offering a full range of sports so that the girls never perceive any sports as being off-limits simply because of their gender. Football is now played by girls of all ages, and, having introduced cricket in 2017 to the senior girls, we are now able to field teams in this as well as rounders in the summer.

Swimming, PE and games feature on the timetable for all girls. PE lessons focus on core skills such as fitness, balance, coordination and flexibility whereas games sessions often incorporate either training for our key sports or the matches themselves. In the autumn term we focus on netball and cross-country running, in the spring term our attention turns to hockey and football as well as cross-country running, and in the summer term we play cricket and rounders and do athletics. By the time the girls are in Year 3 (aged 7-8) they are all playing in competitive fixtures against other London prep schools.

Facilities at The Manor

At The Manor we are proud to have two indoor sporting facilities: the sports hall and the gym.  These enable the girls to utilise large, open, well-equipped spaces throughout the academic year no matter what the weather conditions. When playing or training outdoors, we use Clapham Common for a number of our sports, and we also use the all-weather hockey pitches at a nearby sports complex. With swimming being such a valuable life skill and a great way to develop fitness and flexibility, we take the girls to Clapham Leisure Centre once a week for the full seven years they are with us.

Clubs and activities

For those girls who wish to add more sport to their weekly routine, we offer daily clubs and activities in all our major sports. In addition, tennis, gymnastics and cheerleading also currently appear on our extracurricular programme. Whereas these activities all take place before 8:30am or after 4:00pm, squad training sessions run at lunchtimes in order to ensure girls can access as much coaching as possible without having to extend their school day.

With committed and enthusiastic staff, access to excellent facilities, and an ethos which fuses competitive spirit with fair play, our girls can spend many hours training and playing each week.  As a result, we enjoy a high degree of success at local and national level.

Being part of a team and learning how to respond to victory and defeat are invaluable by-products of the sporting experience. Thus, whether it’s on or off the pitch, life lessons abound.

Athletics

Throughout the summer term, all girls take part in athletics in preparation for sports day in July.

With the space and facilities of Clapham Common just a few metres from the school gate, we regularly take the girls onto the grass to practise their running, jumping and throwing. As a result of the fitness and agility developed through cross-country running and gymnastics earlier in the academic year, the girls thrive on the opportunities that athletics offers.

The girls are determined, technically strong competitors who challenge themselves to be the best they can be. However, they never lose sight of the importance of supporting those around them and being a good sport whether in victory or defeat. When it comes to our sports day event, there is always a tremendous buzz of excitement as the girls compete not only as individuals but also for their houses.

The stadium in Battersea Park provides the perfect venue for the event, giving the girls the chance to run on a proper sports track. The vast majority of parents can be seen in attendance cheering on their daughter, and there is always a wonderfully celebratory atmosphere.

As with all our other sports, we regularly put out teams for various athletics meets. One such example is the Epsom College athletics meet where our girls were second as a team in 2017 with individual girls winning medals in a number of finals.

Hockey

Hockey season takes place during the spring term. In common with netball, it is extremely popular.

Our specialist hockey coach, Mr Jordan, brings the sport to life in a way that makes it easy for the girls to learn, and they quickly progress from practising the basic skills to playing both in fixtures and in tournaments.

During training sessions the girls learn to pass, trap and dribble at speed with the ball. They develop their tactical knowledge by understanding positions and set drills for corners. All senior girls in Year 3 to Year 6 represent the school in hockey fixtures, and they can all to experience the camaraderie, resilience and pride that come from competing in a team. The training sessions and matches take place on all-weather pitches in order for the girls to play the sport at a fast pace and to the highest possible standard.

Over the past two years, Eaton House Girls’ School teams in Years 4, 5 and 6 have won their respective age groups in the Dolphin School Hockey Tournament, which features a number of local schools. With hockey being so enjoyed at school, we are also very proud of the girls who go on to play at club level in the local area.

South London has a number of clubs, including Wayfarers Hockey Club, which our girls attend, and we are delighted that some then even progress to county level. Our success is, in part, due to the fact that the girls in Year 2 also start to develop their hockey knowledge in the spring term and are introduced to basic dribbling, passing and tackling.

Netball

The senior girls love playing netball in the autumn term.

Right from the outset, they take great pleasure from learning how to play as a team and the skills required to be an effective unit. Thus, communication, strategic thinking and technical skills are all explored during the practice sessions on court. The development of ball handling skills, moving to receive the ball, applying the correct footwork, and understanding and applying the basic principles of the game are also very much part of the training process.

The real joy then comes with the competitive fixtures when our senior girls, from Year 3 to Year 6, take part in matches against other local prep schools on a Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon. We are extremely proud of the results achieved over the past few seasons, with the girls in all year groups performing to an impressive standard and winning many matches. Indeed, in 2017, our Year 6 girls very much led by example by winning a national competition, the IAPS Small Schools Netball Championships.

In preparation for their time in the senior half of the school, the junior girls are also quick to learn the fundamentals skills such as throwing and catching, creating a chain of passing and understanding what a space is. This is all done in a context which celebrates the abilities of all girls and promotes inclusivity.

Rounders

Of all the sports played at Eaton House The Manor Girls’ School, rounders is the most quintessentially English, having been played in England since Tudor times.

In the summer term, there are few activities the girls enjoy more than taking the rounders equipment onto the Common and either perfecting their rounders skills or playing in a match. During their lessons, the girls learn a variety of skills including throwing, catching, batting and fielding. They then put these into practice when playing against other local prep schools. At the end of the summer term, the Year 6 girls have a wonderful time playing a competitive game of rounders against their parents. With both sides always very keen to outplay the other, the competitive spirit is certainly very evident!

Many of these skills, and particularly the hand-eye coordination that is developed through rounders, are also employed within the girls’ cricket sessions. Cricket is now rapidly growing in popularity and, as a result, is featuring more and more within the girls’ sporting curriculum. With this ever-growing interest, it is wonderful that our girls are now not only playing for clubs in the local area but they are also playing to county level.