Our pupils are making new bonds with their peers from a local mainstream college thanks to a community link up. A sporting agreement between us and independent Hurstpierpoint College sees Lower Sixth pupils at the private school visiting LVS Hassocks to bond with their counterparts and teach them a host of different sports each week. The visit on Tuesday 11th February saw group warm ups followed by a range of games and dexterity tests such as basketball, hula hoops, skipping and throwing at targets.
The Hurstpierpoint College students are working towards their Sports Leaders qualifications, which requires them to provide practical training sessions, and the link up with LVS Hassocks allows the school to encourage its students to get more involved with sport and have fun outdoors with people similar age to themselves who they can learn from. Our 30 acre site – with facilities including a multi-use games area, provides perfect outdoor space for recreation and sport and allowing the visiting students to manage sessions to improve communication skills and co-ordination – is boosting our pupils both mentally and physically.
Week One saw our pupils pick their buddies from the Year 12 Hurstpierpoint College students, and they continue to work together in those small groups week-to-week to help foster bonds and friendships blossom, allowing pupils at the specialist school to develop trust and confidence in their new role models. The small groups even created their own hand shakes before engaging in a range of activities designed to test and aid co-ordination.
Head of LVS Hassocks Jen Weeks said: “This link up is of huge benefit to both schools. For LVS Hassocks it is a great opportunity to give our pupils regular access to neurotypical peers who can be positive role models for them to look up to. This is encouraging our pupils to throw themselves into sporting activities which they may otherwise have been reluctant to engage with, so it is broadening their skills and experiences beyond what might have been possible before.”
Hurstpierpoint College Sports Teacher Simon Lilley said: “Working with LVS Hassocks was the undoubted highlight for the Hurst Sixth Form sports leaders last year and we have been looking forward to coming back since September.”
Hurst Sixth Former Nathan added: “This is a really valuable experience in learning to work with and coach a variety of different people and adjusting that coaching to the individuals so it is enjoyable and interesting. Some pupils were quiet at first but we tailor activities to suit their needs and ultimately find something really engaging for them.”