Shenfield High School

Shenfield Junior Sports Academy

Mr G Sapsford – Head of PE and Junior Sports Academy

 JSA Group Photo

The Junior Sports Academy (JSA) is a specifically designed programme aimed at nurturing aspiring athletes at Shenfield in a range of different sporting disciplines. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to develop as players in their chosen sport as they will be given time to attend quality and intensive training sessions led by coaches that are specialists in their field.

Athletes that are successful in achieving a place on the programme have a weekly 40 minute session aimed at developing strength and conditioning and advanced skills in a broad range of activities. This is on top of their 3 hours a week Physical Education lessons.

The expectation is for athletes to also attend at least three extra-curricular training sessions per week (before school, lunch and/or after school). The training will develop a player’s tactical understanding, sport specific skills, as well as improving an athlete’s fitness. Specific fitness sessions throughout the year will improve an athletes speed, agility, power and strength with sessions taking place in the fitness suite as well on the training pitch. Alongside these fitness sessions regular testing will take place.

The JSA Testing procedures include a range of important fitness tests, a 5 minute game scenario where many different transferable skills are used as well as an individual’s level of ability in their chosen field.  Re-testing will be completed once pupils have settled into the school and have had 8 weeks on the JSA programme. All physical re-testing will replicate the original fitness tests that the JSA members carried out their initial Sports Aptitude testing day. This data is then analysed to see where progress has been made. We will also use this information to plan individual training programmes for our young athletes once we identify any areas of weakness.

Pupils will be mentored academically by the lead coach to ensure players are achieving their potentially in the classroom. Regular analysis of pupils academic data will be shared with coaches and pupils to ensure progress of academic achievement is maintained throughout the year.  Members of the JSA will also be mentored in a sports specific manner to develop the ability to reflect on their own performance. This type of mentoring will also include discussion about extra-curricular training and identifying areas of strength and areas for improvement. This will make sure there is a healthy balance between academic attainment and athletic progress. Therefore, this programme is physically and mentally demanding and athletes will be expected to have excellent organisation and time management skills to ensure they do not fall behind.  

Pupils will be encouraged and supported towards attending County and National trials/competitions or academy trials where possible to ensure they excel in their chosen sport. Pupils will also be given the opportunity to achieve coaching qualifications or officiating awards where possible. In turn, pupils will be expected to help with primary school competitions and lower school fixtures. In year 2 of the programme pupils will be heavily involved in mentoring and coaching the new JSA athletes so we expect them to be excellent role models and ambassadors for the school.