Dedication, enthusiasm, innovation and fun were the winners at this summer’s Viking Isolation Games between children at Upton Junior, Ramsgate Arts Primary and Chilton Primary schools.
For the last two years the partner schools in the Viking Academy Trust hosted a week-long competition with children from each school divided into teams.
Determined not to let lockdown and partial return to class halt their games, the schools devised a series of 2020 challenges that lasted the whole of the summer term.
Children were able to enjoy activities at home, with families filming their efforts and submitting to the schools who ran an online blog with pictures and video. Children of key workers in school, and latterly other year groups when they returned from June onwards, also competed in school.
Viking Academy Trust executive head teacher Michaela Lewis said: “It was a fantastic success – and of course the real winner was our brilliant school community.
“So our PE leaders and staff have decided that the 2020 winners are all of the teams that took part – each school will have a trophy with the four team colour ribbons attached to celebrate our togetherness and determination to success during a difficult and unprecedented time for all of us.
“I am extremely proud of how the VAT schools, pupils, staff and families have enthusiastically forged ahead in all aspects of learning, and the summer games exemplifies our positive attitude.”
Among the unusual and more traditional challenges were throwing a tea bag into a cup from different distances, running, cycling, star jumps, dribbling using pairs of socks instead of a football; standing up while balancing a toilet roll on their head. Activities also focused on the Olympic Games that were due to be held this summer.
Anticipation built during this week as children in class and at home were encouraged to work out whether the red, green, blue or yellow teams had triumphed.
The announcement was made online simultaneously to all schools and to those at home.
The organisers were sports coaches Jenny Horrigan (RAPS), Emma Knight (Chilton) and Callum Noble (Upton). They said: “The expressions of joy and accomplishment shown by the children made us feel very proud we created the Viking Isolation Games.
“We are so proud of the children and they have really put all their enthusiasm into it. It has also been so encouraging to witness the brilliant level of support from the parents and adults, with many joining in with the activities.”
Jenny added: “I have been so impressed with how the children at both home and school immersed themselves in the games, sending us videos and images showing how proud and happy they were as they achieved their tasks.”
Callum said: “It was good to see that the children enjoyed all the tasks set and that they got involved which shows we did the right thing to continue with the Viking Games this summer. Well done to them all.”
Emma said: “I have enjoyed seeing the children at school and really getting involved with the games, and it was fun joining in with them.”
The isolation games were a big hit with pupils. Here are some of their comments.
Upton – Jesse liked “everything about the games” and added: “My favourite activity was balancing toilet roll on my head, having to lay down and get back up without it falling off.”
Ava said: “My favourite was the equestrian as it was something different and fun. I also liked that we had to work as a team as well as individually.”
Heidi thought the games were “fun and sporty.” She said: “It meant that I could take part in team sports even though we were apart. I enjoyed the loo roll balancing challenge as it took a while to master, but felt great when I did it.
Jesse and Ava both agreed that “even though we were in isolation it was great to take part in activities as a school – it made us feel like Team Upton was back together.”
RAPS – Mia from Year 3 said:- “I really enjoyed the games even though it was different than it usually is. The activities we had to do were fun and new every week.”
Sienna, Year 2, added: “I loved doing the different challenges and found it really fun trying new sports that I hadn’t done before.”
Zuzia, also in Year 2, said: “It was different than usual but the teachers definitely made it fun for us,” while Archie from Reception added: “I really enjoyed the weight lifting challenge when I had to lift the water can with water inside – it made me feel strong.”