Sports College

Welcome to the Joseph Whitaker Sports College!

The Joseph Whitaker School became a specialist Sports College in September 2004. The decision to gain a specialism in sport was taken for a variety of reasons including our expertise in using sport to raise aspiration, engagement and attainment; our expertise in developing pupil leadership; our track record in developing pupil’s skills in sport and our belief that sport in schools should engender a life long commitment to improving health.

Our provision, outcomes and Girl's Football Teamcommitment to the values and benefits of sport have been recognised nationally. For example, we are a Gold Partner school for the Youth Sport Trust, the Headteacher is an ambassador for the Youth Sport Trust, we are the lead school in Nottinghamshire for leadership and volunteering and we are the hub site for the Newark and Sherwood Sports Partnership delivering high quality sport across 5 secondary schools and 41 primary schools.

The Specialist Schools programme was designed to improve whole school standards of attainment and achievement and to also provide strong links to the local community. Since 2004, this is some of the progress that has been made:

Whole School

  • Developing the quality of teaching and learning across the school
  • Developing study support programmes
  • Developing pupil leadership across all faculty areas
  • Developing mentoring systems

The students’ understanding of healthy lifestyles has been judged to be ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. Examples of other initiatives centred around health include:

  • Hydration points are provided across the school, paid for from the Sports College budget
  • Menus in the canteens were providing healthy options before the Government brought in changes to legislation and the school gained Fair Trade status in 2011
  • A wide variety of healthy lifestyle clubs and activities have taken place, including the Carnegie initiative
  • The school has been awarded Healthy Schools status at Gold level.

We have developed a very strong KS2 to KS3 transition programme, with all of our family of school Y6 primary students accessing PE and sport of the highest quality Year 11 Rugby Champsevery Wednesday afternoon at The Joseph Whitaker School. These sessions are led by the Joseph Whitaker PE staff and feedback from parents and students has been extremely positive. Students express less anxiety about the change of schools, they know our staff, know our school and our expectations, and they know other students from other schools. This programme has now been enhanced with provision from Technology and Science.

Specialist Subject

Outcomes in PE and sport are outstanding. As well as outstanding results, the PE department has grown significantly in size since 2004 as a result of  an increase in provision at both Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5. We currently offer:

  • GCSE PE Full and Short Course
  • BTEC Sport Level 2
  • GCSE Dance
  • Sports Leader Level 1 and Level 2
  • Junior Football Organisers Award
  • AS and A2 Level PE
  • AS and A2 Level Dance
  • BTEC Sport Level 3

The department also offer an impressive range of Out of School Hours activities which are both competitive and non-competitive. These include:

  • Football
  • Netball
  • Athletics
  • Cross Country
  • Cricket
  • Rounders
  • Rugby
  • Volleyball
  • Table Tennis
  • Basketball
  • Trampolining
  • Badminton
  • Gymnastics
  • Fitness
  • Dance

The flagship programme of the Sports College has been our leadership programme with over an average of 100 students per cohort being accredited each year. These students act as leaders in a variety of events at Joseph Whitaker and within the Partnership. The leaders wear red shirts and this includes lunchtime supervision duties and working with the local community during the evenings. The Duke of Edinburgh Award is also now under the wing of the Sports College.


In July 2006 Joseph Whitaker took responsibility for the sports facilities in the evenings and weekends. We have developed an approach which attracts high quality clubs to use the facilities and to also give opportunities to groups which might need support in setting up activities. We also provide traditional casual use for our local community.

Our partner club scheme means that clubs have Sport England Clubmark or FA Chartermark receive preferential booking times and rates. This means that our students have the opportunity to access high quality clubs in a sustainable environment. We are also working with National Governing Bodies to ensure that we have an annual programme of sport related qualifications and training taking place.

We have a Football Development Officer who works in both school and the community to maximise use of the new 3G pitch, and also a designated Gymnastics coach who works within the school and Partnership.

Some specific areas of success include the development of Rainworth Rollers Boccia Club, the use of the facilities by The Nottinghamshire Elite Boccia Squad, the martial arts provision, the development of a Rainworth Badminton Club and the quality of the holiday programmes being provided.

As a by-product of our Sports Specialism the development of high quality facilities for use by the school and the community cannot be underestimated;

  • A Sports Hall extension encompassing a four court hall with cricket nets
  • A state of the art gym  completed in 2012 and used as a flagship centre for Technogym,
  • A new Dance Studio with state of the art sound and lighting systems plus a ballet barre and full length mirror
  • A new full size third generation floodlit football pitch
  • A total refurbishment of the gymnasium, sports hall changing rooms and foyer
  • A refurbishment of the tennis courts.