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Upton Junior School

Upton Junior School

One Childhood - One Chance

Nationally Recognised for Sport

Outstanding PE and Sport at Upton

Sport has always been a massive part of Upton life since the school opened and the school is recognised nationally as one of the leading schools for sport in the country.

In 2019-20, Upton were retained as  Beacon School by the British Olympic GETSET project

In 2018-19, Upton were awarded the Platinum School Games Award for achieving five consecutive Gold Mark Awards. This award has been achieved by less than 1% of schools in the country.

In 2018-19, Upton were awarded Beacon School Status by the British Olympic GETSET movement in recognition of our Sport in the Community programme. There are only 42 schools across the UK who have this status.

In 2018 Upton were awarded the Thanet Sustained Excellence Award at the local PasSport Awards ceremony

In 2018 Upton staff won the Kent Teacher of the Year award for the third consecutive year for inspiring teaching within sport

Each year Upton compete in almost 50 out of hours sports events and across 20 weekends.

Upton have also recently been awarded the Youth Sport Trust Gold Quality Mark; the Kent School Games Area Award; the District School of the Year for Sport; Our Sports team have regularly been winners of the District Young Team of the Year Award and sports staff have won District Sports Teacher of the Year for four consecutive years.

Upton have also been recognised nationally as the School Sports Matters National Primary School of the Year for Sport sponsored by Aviva and the Daily Telegraph, attending the star-studded awards ceremony at Twickenham stadium.

Recently our Sports Dept led the funding drive to raise £130 000 to save the school swimming pool for the benefit not just of Upton pupils, but of pupils in school across the locality who use it on a daily basis.

STEP into Upton Sport:

Sportsmanship; Teamwork; Enjoyment; Participation –are the four core values of Upton Sport and PE. These are integrated into everything we do during PE and Sport. Each week the class teacher awards a STEP medal to a pupil in the class who has exemplified these values either through PE and Sport or through school life. These medals recognise and encourage the sports values.

Provision for More Able Pupils (MAPS/G&T):

The school has a comprehensive list of talented performers compiled in line with our PE Gifted and Talented policy and identified by teachers and/or parental nominations, both of which are validated by the Head of Sport. The school then actively creates opportunities for these pupils within these sports. Some examples of this are in the form of sports-specific training sessions; hosting, organising or entering related competition; support with competition entry and travelling fees.

The use of outside coaches where specific coaching expertise is required for more able pupils is facilitated by the school, who sent parents on swimming teaching qualification courses to ensure a swim team competed at the highest level. The team have been National Champions three times in the last six years and these coaches are now involved in supporting our biathlon team also.

Serving the Wider Community and becoming Self-Sustaining:

Upton organises and hosts the majority of the largest District sports competitions of the year. We recognise that not all schools have the same facilities, equipment, or create the same opportunity, so we create this opportunity for them. We currently run the main football; rugby; rounders and athletics events of the year, as well as a plethora of differing competitions and festivals. In addition to providing this opportunity for other schools, this organisation also allows Upton to enter a huge number of school teams in these events, an option which isn’t available at other local events.

The hosting of the largest schools competitions in the area allows volunteer work raising money through the sale of food and entry fees for sports provision and equipment that can help supplement the excellent financial support from the school and the Sports Premium. In 2017-18 the money raised was in excess of £4000

Sporting Excellence:

 In addition to our many school awards, Upton are currently District Champions in ten sports team events and have attended nine county finals this year, as well as reaching the SE England Finals for swimming, the National Biathlon Finals and the National Girls Football Finals

Sports Premium Funding:

Our Annual PE and Sports Funding Grant is is detailed on our website and forms part of our PE Development Plan.

PE and Sport as a Tool to Improve Behaviour:

With 85% of pupils in the school involved in school extra- curricular sports clubs or school sports teams, there is a huge opportunity for sport to have an impact within the school and this is the case. Pupils are subject to the same daily school rules in after-school clubs and benefit from the discipline developed through sport practice and controlled performance.

Pupils are aware and respond to the ruling that poor behaviour means they cannot represent the school. The key focus of all our sports clubs and events is sportsmanship and demonstration of a sporting and responsible attitude that then transfers back into the classroom. This has been particularly effective as a behaviour tool with sporty boys, but has even greater success through the creation of a team ethos and collective pride of the school and its achievements.

High Quality PE Lessons:

2 hours of high quality PE take place within school hours. Half of this is taught by class teachers, and we believe it is important for pupils to keep this link between sport and their regular teacher. The second hour is taught by a sport specialist – either our sports Coaches or our Swimming Teachers Teaching of PE is monitored by SLT through drop-ins and more formal observations to ensure quality of teaching and pupil progress.

Creating Opportunity:

 We strongly believe that the role of schools and clubs for children this age is through providing opportunity and support; involving and immersing children in sport. Our Sports Tracker last year showed that 450 pupils had taken part in an extra-curricular school sports club (that lasted at least 6 weeks) or represented the school in a weekend sports event. This is achieved through four stages:

  • Identifying or creating the opportunity;

  • Enthusing pupils,

  • Facilitating their participation where possible;

  • Celebrating their involvement.

In some local competitions this year we have entered eight teams and we run 15-20 sports clubs a week at the school. At the last cross-country 180 Upton pupils entered, more than three times the number of any other local school, even those of similar size to us.

Outdoor Adventurous Opportunities (OAA):

OAA forms a massive part of the curriculum at Upton. Last year Archery, Orienteering, Blindwalks and other OAA pursuits have been integrated into our regular PE curriculum. We have also had ‘WOW’ events and days from outside providers, including ‘Ultimate Frisbee’, ‘Korfball’ and ‘OAA within English and Maths’.

Our Year 6 Pupils experience a week away from school at an OAA centre residential during the summer; our Year 5 pupils have a day of water-sports at the local SeaSports Centre sailing; our Year 4 pupils experience a night away from home at a Kingswood residential centre; and our Year 3 pupils brave the climbing wall that comes right here to our school.

A Legacy of Sport:

 Our Upton sports motto is ‘Always Go the Extra Mile’ and a legacy starts from the first steps children take into sport at their primary schools. If our pupils are still taking part in sport ten years from now we can judge this legacy to be a success. Pupils often return to the school and reminisce about sports successes or clubs they have been part of. Others have been seen on TV competing in English School Championships or for England schoolboys.  In the main school hall we have a history of sports success shown through our Sports Boards to remind pupils of lasting achievement.

Pupil-run clubs:

These incredibly successful clubs are run by pupils within Year 6 (with support from staff initially) and further increase opportunity for our pupils. Examples this year include Sprint4girls (which identified many new sprinters for our school team); skipping (which linked to a school team,) and speed-stacking (run by traditionally non-participating boys who rose to the leadership challenge). These clubs develop leadership skills for pupils and also offer a less formal organisation which appeals to some pupils.

Lunchtime clubs and Active Play:

Our Sports Coaches runs lunchtime Active Play Sports for pupils during the week. Later in the year these specifically target non-participants in extra-curricular sports clubs but are also particularly enjoyed by children whose parental commitments mean they cannot attend after-school activities. These clubs are part of our Active Play programme to encourage healthy lifestyles and social enjoyment.


We are extremely fortunate to have our own pool on-site. All pupils swim weekly as part of their PE lessons and pupil progress across the four strokes is comprehensively tracked by our Swim Coaches.

Pupils who are in danger of leaving the school without being able to swim at least 25m have extra lessons during the summer term to ensure they achieve that aim. Pupils also learn water rescue skills that we consider essential when living so close to the sea. 

Swimming galas mark the end of each unit, providing competition for all, and we have an incredibly successful swim team, who have been national Champions on many occasions recently.


 Inclusion is a massive part of school sports, linking with our STEP value of Participation. All pupils participate in school PE and we have a huge uptake in our extra-curricular sports clubs. These clubs are often created for the purposes of inclusion and to target non-participants. Clubs such as Go-Karts  and Girls Dodgeball have been very successful in this aim.


PE CPD is an integral part of staff development. Staff from the school have access to a huge range of PE courses through our involvement with Thanet PasSport, a local organisation who provide opportunity for sports CPD and competition through the School Games organisation.


Sports Leadership promotes leadership in all areas of school life. Some pupils are captains of individual sports teams, an important role at the school. Others run clubs, take the lead in groups, referee games themselves, or act as playleaders. During the summer term all of Year 6 take part in the organisation of a Panathlon event for Year 3, from aspects such as original planning and health and safety issues, to evaluating their performance and looking at ways to improve.


An Outstanding PE Curriculum:

Upton has an innovative and inspiring PE curriculum that links both individual performance and team ethos, and includes competition at all levels. Lessons contain planned links to core subjects and are geared towards creating opportunities for success. The huge extra-curricular network of clubs and events run at the school create a multitude of opportunities to celebrate SMSC aspects. Innovative clubs such as Change4Life, Sport4Girls, RunB4School, water polo, cheerleading, etc., attract pupils who have little interest in the more mainstream sports, while our PE WOW days and whole school events engage, stimulate and excite the pupils.

Best practice documents, such as ‘Beyond 2012’, inform teaching, and staff keep up-to-date with the latest PE developments through regular CPD and membership of organisations such as the Youth Sport trust.


 Differentiation is key to high quality PE lessons. Lessons are differentiated in many ways (detailed within our PE policy) with particular focus given to PPA PE, where use of both a Sports Coach and Assistant Sports coach helps ensure differentiation is effective and lessons link to the core subjects. Regular lesson observations show this to be highly effective in providing for all abilities.


Upton has its own swimming pool and extensive grounds that are used for PE lessons and to enhance the curriculum. We have just invested in sports flooring to transform an indoor area into a mini-sports hall. The field usually has seven football/rugby pitches marked, and in the summer eight rounders pitches as well as a 200m eight-lane running track used for sports days and athletics events. The PE store is extensively resourced to support an ever-evolving curriculum and programme of activities, showing the high regard the school has for PE and Sport

A Healthy School:

With such a high percentage of pupils involved in extra-curricular spirts, healthy living is a consistent feature of school life. In addition to this, there are regular assemblies promoting healthy eating and healthy living, and a healthy fruit tuck shop at break-times,

Competitive Sport:

Competition thrives in all areas of Upton, from our intra-class competitions at the end of every PE unit, to the 52 competitive school team competitions we enter each year. Through competition children learn how to respond to challenge and pressure, how to win and lose gracefully, and how to evaluate and improve their performance. Each week our school celebration assembly showcases the huge array of sports talent and success we have at Upton

Committed Staff:

The Ofsted Document ‘Going the Extra Mile’ identified that successful schools have a well-organised and wide PE team led by an experienced ‘Director of Sport’ who are committed to working outside of hours and for whom the school day may start earlier and finish later than others due to sports commitments. At Upton we this is exactly what happens. For many pupils at the school, Saturday is a regular extension of the school week. The school also enters over 50 competitive sports events each year, the majority of which are outside of school hours or at weekends.

For additional information please view our 'Outstanding PE and Sport' document below


Contact Us

Upton Junior School
Edge End Road
CT10 2AH

(01843) 861393