Main School

National Primary SEND Finals

Barking Abbey students traveled to the Cooper Box Arena to support Panathlon in their delivery of the first ever National Primary SEND Finals, with 18 teams from across the country, all competing for the championship crown.

With such a large number of competing teams, the vast 2012 Olympic and Paralympic venue, had to be split into three, with three group winners receiving gold medals, and the team with the highest score across all three groups, claiming the overall winners’ trophy. Barking Abbey’s leaders delivered seven competitive events to the visiting schools in a “Mini Paralympics” fashion, to help find their first ever champion. Barking Abbey have been supporting Panathlon in the delivery of local and regional events for quite a number of years now and were overwhelmed when Panathlon requested they support the delivery of their National Final.

The experience of being a “Young Leader” and especially at Panathlon events, has an “all round” value for Barking Abbey students. Amongst their leadership experiences, they are given opportunities to develop themselves holistically and enhance their:

  • Organisation

  • Communication

  • Knowledge

  • Confidence

  • Self-Esteem

  • Adaptability

  • Empathy

  • Diplomacy

  • Professionalism

Equally as important, whilst supporting Panathlon events, Barking Abbey Leaders are being faced with endless challenges through discovering a wide range of “adapted sports” they would have never experienced previously within their PE curriculum e.g., boccia, polybat, table cricket, and working with a vast array of disabilities whilst learning that every child will respond differently. Furthermore, when faced with these challenges, Barking Abbey Leaders have established how they can adapt situations to impart their knowledge, and develop an understanding of what everyone is capable of achieving, despite their disabilities.

With Barking Abbey being situated in one of the most deprived locations in the country, these opportunities give our students the chance to fully appreciate their surroundings, and realise that they should never “let life impede on their ability to manifest their dreams”.

Barking Abbey student comments: “the skills sports leaders develop is second to none – I have realised the skills that I have developed, can make me more effective within the classroom. Also, being given the opportunity to work with young people from a wide variety of backgrounds and needs, has been very rewarding. This programme has helped me to develop an understanding of the difficulties faced when leading an activity and has given me an insight into teaching”.

Penathlon CB BA 18