The BBC reported recently that the Football Association was criticising the government for the lack of PE in schools for girls and after seeing fantastic women’s performances in the last few months in football, rugby and cricket – sports perhaps traditionally viewed as the preserve of boys – we wanted to flag up how we were addressing the sports provision.

Of course, we have maintained the traditional girls’ sports of netball and rounders – there are fantastic competitions and a great appetite for them – but we have also ensured we provide a broad diet so that girls can taste all sorts of sports, develop key skills and then look to take them forward.

This commitment has seen football competitions, mixed cricket teams and professional rugby players coming in to lead sessions. Elsewhere, we have seen mixed hockey tournaments and use of the Friary Grange Leisure Centre gym.

We have a high number of girls competing in the county, regional, national and international arena and many of these girls are recognised through our Elite Performers Scheme which ensures we balance school work around the top-end performers so that they can succeed at school but also compete at the highest level. This includes global stars in Obstacle Racing, sailing and karate.

Sam Foster, Head of Performance & Technologies, said “We run a broad curriculum that gives girls a taste of lots of different options. We dovetail with local clubs, both amateur and professional, and we ensure that Friary girls get a full range of experiences whether that be in the field, on the track or indoors.”

Matt Allman, Headteacher, added: “We very much see ourselves as having a responsibility to open the doors to girls taking on a wide range of sports. We do not have the capacity to run full seasons in every sport we offer but we can inspire the impetus for girls to go further. Certainly, as a parent who enjoys watching brilliant Friary girls well coached and playing a good standard of football regularly, I know there are plenty of talented girls in football, and more sports besides, and there is never an under-estimation from us in terms of the capacity and drive for girls to shine.”