We wanted to give a sharper focus to one of our most popular and most successful activities: gymnastics. We spoke to Andrew Overhill, regional director for Taunton, to understand his experiences in delivering gymnastics sessions to primary schools.
What kind of gymnastics does Premier Education offer?
“Our gymnastics offering is pretty varied. It includes curricular gymnastics, enrichment gymnastics, Key Stage 1 and 2 clubs and evening clubs with some of the more dedicated children. Then of course there’s the Gymnastics Holiday Camps which happen in school holidays.
What does a Premier Education Gymnastics session look like? How is it delivered?
If we take curricular sessions for an example, the first thing we do is explain the objective of the session to the kids, so they know what to expect. Then we do a thorough warm up and get into the skills, which can include rolling, jumping, floor work, balancing – all sorts really. Our coaches work to a 10- or 12-week programme, so each session there’s a specific area covered. It means that kids take away something new every week. “
Why would you recommend this product to a school?
Gymnastics is just so fundamental to all children’s physical literacy. It teaches vital Key Stage 1 skills, the kind they can apply to any sport.
Gymnastics for primary school children is enormously popular, it’s easily the most popular sport we do. Around 1 in 3 of all our sessions are gymnastics, which is twice as high as football. If you’re not offering it in your school you’re really missing out.
Do the children enjoy it?
“The kids absolutely love it. They come running in when they know it’s gymnastics, and they get so excited when they see the equipment out and ready. If a school has a climbing frame it’s usually pretty rare that it actually comes out to be used. When the children see it they absolutely adore it.
It means our coaches enjoy it, too. The children are super engaged and it’s something different for both the coaches and kids.”
What do you personally enjoy about delivering this product?
“I did gymnastics as a child but stopped when I got into other sports. Now, looking back, I can see how it really helped me with football and rugby. Gymnastics builds skills you take with you for your whole life, and I love that our coaches focus so much on that aspect of it.
It’s much easier to cater the exercises for individuals. Children get much more focused time than they ever would playing a team sport. Essentially that means it’s easier to see progression in each pupil, which leads to more job satisfaction.”