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SPOTLIGHT GIRL power Enjoying sport is crucial to a happy and successful school life, believes head of Wycombe Abbey Rhiannon Wilkinson Through sport, girls learn resilience, leadership, and teamwork. The skills they develop on the field and in the gym underpin their academic success and enable them to become healthy and happy young women. It is our aim to equip each girl with the knowledge and confidence to enjoy sport for its own sake. Whether in PE lessons, clubs or extra-curricular activities, our pupils are encouraged to engage with sports they love and feel comfortable playing. The benefits of a positive sporting culture are felt across the school with pupils able to relax and spend time with their peers away from the classroom. Girls need to be healthy to achieve in all areas of life and to make the most of their intellect and academic skills. Learning to deal with success and failure is a large part of this, and while competition is a very useful motivator, knowing that even the best lose at times is an immensely valuable life lesson. Our PE curriculum focuses on these values and help girls flourish in sport regardless of their level of skill. To achieve this, we offer pupils a wide range of activities to ensure each individual is inspired. Our lessons have included everything from a Bollywood dance workshop to martial arts. Beyond formal lessons we offer a range of activities for recreation. In recent years, the number of girls playing sports purely for fun has risen dramatically. We now have more than 250 girls taking tennis lessons. The vast majority of these do not play competitively. Niche sports such as fencing and kickboxing are rising in popularity and each week 45 girls do Pilates classes. Through these activities, we seek to give every girl the opportunity to find and follow her sporting ambition. It is our hope that as more schools adopt this objective, girls across the country will be inspired to greater success and the profile of women’s sport will continue to rise. SUMMER 17 ★ schoolnotices.co.uk 27