Aylesbury High School has been named as the country’s best sporting state school for 2014.
The school received the accolade from School Sport magazine, and marks the fact that four of their sports teams are current national champions - cross-country, netball, badminton and basketball, while several other sports teams have reached national finals.
The Sporting Schools list rates schools on 20 different sports across more than 120 different competitions.
Head of P.E at the High School Ali Arber said: “We have some very strong individuals in a range of sports, but it is not enough to just put talented players together; our team spirit shines through in every sport and our teams regularly receive praise for the considerate and friendly way in which they approach competition, while still having the hunger to win.’ Headteacher Alan Rosen, who himself competes at national level in orienteering, believes that sport is an essential part of the curriculum.
He said: “Enjoyable, well-taught sport brings real benefits both to individuals and to the whole school.
“In addition to the health aspects it develops communication, leadership and organisational skills, which all transfer to the rest of the curriculum and beyond.” The school also places an emphasis on outdoor activities which also have a high profile.
Pupils in year eight spend a personal development week at Outward Bound Wales, at Aberdyfi, and large numbers of girls undertake the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and get involved in a World Challenge. Expeditions. sports and dance leaders courses are popular in the Sixth Form and many of the older students run sports competitions in school and festivals for local primary schools. Mr Rosen added: “There is a great mix of inspiration and perspiration at the high school and with almost 3000 secondary schools in the country it is incredible to be recognised as the leading school this year.
“Each of our seven PE teachers is actively involved in extra-curricular activities, plus our head of English coaches squash and our head of modern foreign languages coaches football.
“Our basketball teams really benefit from the fantastic skills of one of our parents, Coach Jenner, whose inspirational work over a number of years has been recognised and rewarded with this year’s national success.”