At Craigclowan we aim for each and every pupil to enjoy regular participation in curricular and extra-curricular sports. We realise that performance is enhanced by confidence, happiness and a sense of wellbeing and we strive to instill a life-long love of physical activity in all of our pupils. We want our children to develop a healthy lifestyle which will benefit them both now and in the future. Sport is an important part of the curriculum and, despite being a small school, we are able to field teams in a number of sports. We have busy fixture list against other institutions in skiing, rugby, netball, hockey, cricket, rounders, tennis and cross-country. A number of pupils play for local teams and have gone on to gain representative honours at various levels.
Our impressive facilities provide opportunities for a wide range of sports. Our campus includes a large Sports Hall, Netball and Tennis Courts and spacious Sports Pitches, as well as lots of open space for the children to play.
Whenever possible children enjoy a hot meal with their travelling opponents and officials after matchesand parents are actively encouraged to come along and support the children, before having afternoon tea with the other parents.
The aims of cross-country running, which is offered to pupils in Forms 5 – 8, are varied and numerous:
The key events we take part in are the Merchiston Relays, the Strathallan Races, the Scottish Schools (IAPS) Championships and the Scottish Primary Schools Championships.
We are fortunate to be able to run within our own extensive grounds, on the neighbouring farmer’s field and grounds (ploughed fields, corn field, forest, meadow, track), on the Strathallan School grounds (tracks, fields, muddy paths, loch-side, forest) and occasionally on Moncreiffe Hill (marked tracks, woodland) and the Brig Farm trail.
Rounders is a fun Summer sport. All junior and senior girls participate and we ensure that we give all the girls the chance to play at a competitive level, producing at least two teams in each year. Our first team plays at a high level and we always compete in the Prep Schools rounders tournament.
Everyone at Craigclowan takes part in athletics in the Summer Term as it is one of the few sports where a child can be an individual as well as a member of a team. All the technical aspects of athletics, including running, jumping and throwing are covered in Games lessons. Forms 4 - 8 compete in the IAPS Athletics Championship in June. We also host our Junior and Senior Sports days which are always good fun, give all the children a chance to compete and highlight our talented athletes in the various events.
Our hockey programme starts from Form 3 and runs through to the Senior School. Technique is vital in order to play and to progress to the highest standards and our coaching principles are to reinforce the basic skills of hockey to establish a sound basic technique on which to progress to unit and team skills. We play against other prep schools in the area, compete in the IAPS tournaments and host our own hockey tournament at Craigclowan. We have a well-deserved reputation for putting children forward to represent the WOSPS team and play for the Perth and Kinross development squad, which then leads onto Midlands hockey.
At Craigclowan, we offer timetabled rugby for boys from Form 3 to Form 8. At each stage, we deliver sessions underpinned by the Scottish Rugby Union’s Key National Themes: Hand Catch, Ball Presentation, Offload and Individual Tackle. These skills are developed in the numerous rugby fixtures and tournaments played in by the children in Forms 4 to 8. There is also the opportunity for representative honours as U13 boys can try out for West of Scotland Prep Schools (WOSPS) and even be selected for the Scottish Prep Schools side. We encourage all boys to play with integrity, passion, solidarity, discipline and respect. It is not only the key skills of rugby union we wish to develop, but its core values too.
Cricket is taught to all boys from Form 4 upwards and girls can also participate if they choose to join the after school girls only session on Mondays. This can lead to playing in the mixed team Scottish Primary Schools competition which Craigclowan won in 2015. We are very lucky to have ex Craigclowan pupil and current Scotland Under 21 player Peter Ross coaching the children at different levels through the school. Peter is currently undertaking UKCC Level 3 training, which is only held by a handful of people in Scotland.
As it is such a fast paced sport and there are only seven players to a team, pupils are active for the whole of the game. Players jump, twist, turn, dodge and run for short sprints and have to perform hard stops. The benefits of playing netball are numerous. It is a great cardiovascular activity, it improves upper body strength, especially arms, and it also develops hand-eye coordination. Netball players at Craigclowan learn to work effectively as part of a team. It’s all about learning new skills, improving on old ones and having fun playing with friends. Our netball programme starts in Form 3 and runs through to the senior school. We compete against many other prep schools and also get the opportunity to play for the WOSPS team.
Skiing is very much a part of what makes Craigclowan special and sets us apart from other schools. We are incredibly lucky here at Craigclowan as we have a fantastic dry ski slope on site. This allows the children to hone their skills throughout the year, even in the balmy heat of a Scottish summer! We are also just an hour’s drive away from the Glenshee ski resort which we visit as often as possible during the Spring Term.
The dry ski slope is available for use by the children on three days of the week during the Summer and Winter terms. Every child in the school has the opportunity to sign up to a block of ski lessons at the beginning of these terms. If a child has not skied before, the school offers a free taster lesson (equipment included) to see if the child enjoys the experience.
Two of the sessions each week are assigned to the beginner or novice skier. It is a fantastic resource for the beginner, as it allows them to develop their skills before heading to the more challenging conditions of the mountains of Scotland or Europe. The other two sessions are given over to the more experienced skiers in the school. They are given expert race training instruction by Freshtracks Ski School, which has been servicing the skiing needs of Craigclowan for well over thirty years.
Schools and other organisations from the surrounding area have access to the slope if they desire. The slope is also used by an independent ski school (Skiclass) on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the Winter and Summer Terms. These classes are available to both pupils of the school and outside the school.
During the Spring Term we head up to Glenshee every Saturday and, in addition, every year group has a ski day during the academic school week. With about 75% of the pupils heading up to Glenshee at least once, the benefits to the school community are enormous. The children are given six hours of fantastic tuition by the dedicated staff of Freshtracks ski school, developing their skiing skills as well as their appreciation of the beauty and dangers of a Scottish winter, mountain environment. So many different skills are learnt by the children without them even realising.
The children are also given the opportunity to go on a week-long ski trip to France. This occurs on a regular basis and is seen by the skiing fraternity as a rite of passage before moving on to their next school. With the trip being, for many, their first holiday away from their parents, the experience of independence is an incredibly valuable one and helps to cement the fun-filled and relaxed relationship which the staff have with the children on holiday. We really are a family here at Craigclowan.
Craigclowan encourages every pupil to play tennis and it is our aim that every player will fulfil his or her potential. We have a tennis coach who ensures that the children are receiving the best coaching. Matches against other schools and clubs are organised and we also attend many tournaments within our local area.
All children from Forms 4 to 8 are offered the opportunity to swim on Mondays after school. All abilities are welcome and we work on improving technique, stamina and speed, as well as other water based skills, like treading water, diving and basic lifesaving. From this group we select teams which compete in galas at Strathallan, Kilgraston, Dollar and Merchiston. All are encouraged to try out for the squad. We use the facilities at Strathallan School for our swimming lessons.
The aims of Physical Education at Craigclowan School are:
Each week Pre-school to Form 8 spend 25 minutes on curriculum physical education which is taught in mixed ability groups in addition to the separate Games lessons. The curriculum over the years embraces gymnastics, Scottish Country Dance, balls skills, uni-hoc, volleyball, badminton, basketball, football, tennis and athletics.