The King's School has been recognised as one of the United Kingdom's very best sporting schools. From over 6,000 state and independent secondary schools, 'School Sports Magazine' has placed the Macclesfield school in the nation's Top 25.
King's Director of Sport Chris Thomson was delighted with the honour and was happy to admit that learning to lose was as important as success, and losing was also a key life skill.
"We want our pupils to win with modesty but learn to lose with grace. As the great Michael Jordan said, “the key to success is failure. I've failed over and over and over again in my life, but that is why I succeed.”
The recognition comes not only for a golden year of success at all age levels, but for the astonishing breadth of opportunity. For example across Years 7 - 10, 427 out of 580 girls and boys have represented King's this school year, which amounts to a staggering 74% of all pupils getting a chance to don the royal blue.
Performance has been judged over 20 different sports and more than 120 different competitions. Here is a truly staggering roll call of success:
Netball: U19 County Champions; U16 Cheshire County Tournament Plates winners; U14 National Schools Regional Netball Plate winners and U13 County Champions.
Cricket (last season): U13 Boys National Champions; U14 Boys County Champions; U13 Boys County Champions and U12 County Champions.
Hockey: U18 Girls' County Champions; U14 Girls' North West Tier Two Champions; U14 Boys’ North West Tier Two Champions; U13 Girls' County Champions and U18 Girls' NW Indoor Finals runners up.
Rugby: 1st XV Cheshire Cup winners; National Cup Quarter Finalists; Under 15s National Cup Quarter Finalists; 1st VII, Rosslyn Park National Schools Vase Finalists; U15 Warwick 7s winners and Myles Marshall 7s winners; U13 Warwick 7s winners, Myles Marshall 7s winners and undefeated at the Rosslyn Park National Schools 7s; U12 Myles Marshall 7’s winners and Wirral 7’s Shield winners; U14 Myles Marshall Plate winners and the Freeborn Shield for the best school at the Warwick School 7s competition.
Cross-country: The Junior Girls won Cheshire round of the ESAA Cross Country Cup, while the school won the team silver in British Schools' Orienteering Championships.
Trampolining: Four team gold medals at the National Schools Trampoline Championships with one individual gold.
Athletics (last season): English Schools' Athletics Championships; Senior Boys’ Long Jump Champion; Year 7 girls 1st place in Macclesfield and District Athletics Competition; Junior Girls 1st place in Macclesfield and District Athletics Competition; Inter Boys 1st place in Macclesfield and District Athletics Competition.
This string of wins has inevitably led to an array of representative honours at national, regional, district and county levels in a number of sports for a whole host of young men and women.
Chris Thomson added: "There are a number of other sports that are also important to us and where fixtures are provided, in rounders, tennis, swimming, equestrian and golf. We are now looking to introduce inter-school table tennis, and the new Sports Centre will mean that other sports are likely to follow in this way."
Chris admitted: "The new facilities have made a massive difference. Having a large indoor space that can be subdivided into four sections has been a particular boost to regular curriculum lessons and the after-school programme, especially when poor weather has prevented activity outside. Understandably, the separate specialist areas in the Sports Centre, such as the cricket centre, the fitness suite, dance studio have had a really positive impact on the quality and variety of our delivery, and that has certainly transferred to success on 'match day'.”
"The inclusion of a swimming pool has enabled us to build the swimming programme through the School from the Infants up through the Seniors. The new facilities have helped support King’s Elite Athlete Pathway (KEAP) programme, with staff now better able to help students develop their fundamental movement skills and build a strength and conditioning regime."
This has all been achieved with six full-time PE teachers; 12 academic teaching and support staff; 11 specialist coaches; and eight outside specialists, who provide input after school and on match day.
Sport is also becoming increasingly important as an academic subject with 59 students involved at GCSE and 21 taking the BTEC Sport Science qualification meaning more and more children go to careers in sport but, as importantly, learn lifelong positive approaches to health and wellbeing.