Active Schools: Success Story – Belle Vue Park PS

Key Priority Area: Quality Schools Sport

Belle Vue Park Primary School (PS) is a small suburban school of 150 students in Glenroy. The student population is largely from EAL background and their participation rate in recreational and/or organised sport is low.

The school itself has undergone substantial redevelopment with new buildings and grounds and an extremely supportive staff team who care and cater for the students with dedication and respect for their history and culture.

Project goal:

To support the philosophy of ‘focusing on the emotional connections first, and then learning follows’ by engaging students in active play in the playground via improved access and opportunities to transition into community sport. This also involves engaging families and providing opportunities for families to feel safe and nurtured in a familiar setting.

Belle Vue Park Primary School identified that while many of the boys in Year 6 were engaged in community sport, this was not so for the girls. Student voice identified netball as a sport students associated with fun and inclusion. Staff offered the opportunity for students to train at lunchtime, which was taken up with great enthusiasm.

Students were up-skilled beyond traditional physical education and sport lessons, and staff spent much of their lunchtime with the students, building teamwork, naturing student/staff relationships, expanding students’ understanding of the rules and developing game sense. Over time, the growth of student confidence and capacity, led to a team entering the local community competition.

Links to community were established through staff going beyond their initial work developing the team's sporting skills, to engaging with the families and local businesses to seek sponsorship for team uniforms and entry fees. A link was developed with, Darebin Netball Association and the team entered a weekly competition.

Staff assisted with the transportation of the students to the games, as parents were unable to do this much of the time. The netball association worked closely with umpires, teachers and parents to ensure every member of the team was well supported on court, could learn whilst playing and felt safe in the competitive environment.

Active School strategy: Impact:
Student Voice and Agency: Seek input from students on sporting interests to increase active participation.             The students felt empowered to voice their interests and understood that the school is a safe place where they can have the confidence to express their needs. Student engagement has improved with the students looking forward to their weekly training and games. The fitness level of the players has improved.
Community Sponsorship: Explore sponsorship from local businesses to purchase school netball uniforms. Students are excited to be part of community sport where they are nurtured, assisted, and encouraged to be active. Being supported by local business has created strong links between the school and the community. 
Community Connections: Build links with families and the local Netball Club to provide a participation pathway for students beyond school. Relationships have been built and fortified between staff, students and families. Families now see the value of community sport involvement for all students regardless of gender. Parents and families regularly attend the games, cheering the girls on and enjoying the enhanced sense of community.
Teacher Engagement: Encourage staff to become involved in school training sessions and community programs. Four staff voluntarily attend the Saturday morning games. The positive student outcomes have given teachers a sense of school connectedness beyond the school gate. The success of the program has inspired staff discussion of incorporating the club to ensure the students can continue to play together beyond primary school.
Integrated Curriculum: Support and encourage opportunities for cross-curricular links with sport. A small group of students who do not play netball attend the weekly games to film the girls playing. The footage has been used in technology classes and has been imported into a short video highlighting the team’s participation journey. 
To learn more and access the extensive range of success stories available, visit the Active Schools Online Community.

Don’t forget to also check out the amazing line up of FREE in-person Active Schools regional PL events planned for Term 2 and 3.