Active School in Focus: bringing community sport to Ardeer South Primary School

Ardeer South Primary School has been focusing on the Active School Framework areas of Quality Physical Education, Quality School Sport and Active Recreation. After the pandemic, the staff had seen a huge disconnect with the students linking back to local sporting organisations.

Using the Active Schools funding, the school explored ongoing opportunities for the students to play in team sports, learning valuable life skills and keeping physically active. This supportive school environment has allowed the love of these sports to continue to grow through active recreation both before and after school, as well as at recess and lunch times.

Thanks to the wonderful staff at Ardeer South Primary School for providing this article.

With the incredible financial support offered through the Active Schools Grant to Ardeer South Primary School we have been able to provide opportunities for our students to learn skills and play AFL football both during school time and in their own recreational time.

We have used the grant to do the following things for our students and community:

  • Engaged the services of the Western Bulldogs Friendly Schools program. This program has utilised the skills of young students enrolled in the SEDA education program that exists to engage, educate and empower young people. Our students have thoroughly enjoyed working with the SEDA students and the sessions.
  • The funds went towards the resurfacing of the once barren school oval and the installation of AFL goal posts. The resurfacing has had a significant impact on the aesthetics of our school encouraging members of the community to use our oval and the new goals after school and on weekends. 
  • The installation of the goal posts has encouraged all students to be playing AFL during recess and lunch breaks and enabled us to play AFL as an interschool sport with other schools in our local area.

The most significant achievement of our involvement in the Active Schools program has been our engagement in building community connections with the Sunshine Heights Football Club to support our students to join junior AFL teams outside of the school. The club was struggling for junior players following the pandemic and our advertising and willingness to pay membership fees enabled many of our students to join up. The grant provided funds that we were able to offer our families who are usually significantly financially disadvantaged to join a football club.

Student highlight

A student came to our school this year after leaving another school due to bullying, low self-confidence and anxiety. Her mother eagerly took up the offer of financial support so that she could join the football team. The school linked the family to the Sunshine Heights Football Club. This membership has had a significant positive impact on her and her physical and emotional health now and into the future. Although the only girl on the team, she was named captain and has been awarded the WRFL - Western Bulldogs Heartland Award for her achievements in the team. The award is given to a player in a team who embodies the true essence of the game, being fair play, fun, involvement and respect for both opposition and umpires.

Being a part of this team has changed this student and her outlook and confidence. She now has aspirations to be playing AFLW one day. The active grant will shape her future in many positive ways as she has now found her tribe and connection in the community. Being a part of the team has also provided her family with community links, new friendships and reasons to be proud.

The most important success here is that the work we have done with the grant will continue to improve outcomes beyond the term of funding and create lasting change for the cohort of students and the community that will use our school grounds more regularly.

Upcoming FULLY SUBSIDISED Active Schools regional PD:

To discover creative ways to get your kids moving both in and out of the classroom in a way that fosters active learning, check out our upcoming PD days!

  • Maribyrnong Sport Academy, Maribyrnong, Friday 5 August
  • Traralgon Bowls Club, Traralgon, Thursday 11 August
  • Alexandra Oval Community Centre, Ararat, Thursday 18 August
  • Springers Leisure Centre, Keysborough, Monday 29 August

Download the flyer for further details >>

If you would like to attend one of the above events, please SAVE THE DATE and stay tuned for the event schedule to be finalised, or scan the QR Code and complete an expression of interest. If you have any questions email [email protected] or visit our Active Schools Online Community for more information.