Top ten listing for Harrogate school in sport is proof that 'a good teacher makes a big difference'

A Harrogate school which has risen to the top ten for sport in England says its success is proof that "a good teacher makes a big difference".
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Listed at number 35 nationally in the top sporting schools in the country for 2023 by School Sport Magazine, when put in the context of state schools only, it means and St Aidan's Church of England High School is ninth top out of 4,200 schools approximately.

Head of PE John Strover paid tribute to staff at the Harrogate school, which is part of the Yorkshire Causeway Schools Trust.

"A good teacher makes a big difference,” said Mr Strover.

Leading the way on sport - One of the successful girls' teams at St Aidan's Church of England High School in Harrogate. (Picture contributed)Leading the way on sport - One of the successful girls' teams at St Aidan's Church of England High School in Harrogate. (Picture contributed)
Leading the way on sport - One of the successful girls' teams at St Aidan's Church of England High School in Harrogate. (Picture contributed)
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"We are fortunate to have a fantastic PE department and some other colleagues in school who run various sports.

"Although high quality coaching in training sessions and matches will ensure the teams progress and improve, creating the right environment that is supportive, caring, and inclusive means that all students no matter what their experience or ability are able to develop physically, socially, and mentally.”

St Aidan's is regarded as strong, in particular, in athletics and cross-country with multiple teams of students reaching the national finals.

Teams in football, hockey, netball, squash and basketball also have a good track record at national level.

In top ten in England for sport at state schools - One of the successful boys' teams at St Aidan's Church of England High School in Harrogate. (Picture contributed)In top ten in England for sport at state schools - One of the successful boys' teams at St Aidan's Church of England High School in Harrogate. (Picture contributed)
In top ten in England for sport at state schools - One of the successful boys' teams at St Aidan's Church of England High School in Harrogate. (Picture contributed)
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Head of PE John Strover is proud of the Harrogate school’s “inclusive” approach.

“The thing that we are most proud of is the inclusive nature of our extra curricular programme.

"It is broad so there are options for lots of students and all students are encouraged to attend.

"We try our best to give as many opportunities as possible to all students who commit to different activities.

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"The C and D team matches give us just as much pride as our A team doing well.

“The staff work hard to run clubs and arrange fixtures that all students can take part in.

"The students work hard to commit to those clubs, take to opportunities and develop their skills and personal qualities.

"Our parents are always supportive, too.”

St Aidan’s High School was established 50 years ago and now caters for nearly 2,000 students.

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