Why Play Sport?
There are structured, weekly sessions in games and physical education. From Year 3 to Year 8 every class has two lessons of PE each week. There are also two coaching and practice days for team games and two inter-school match days each week.
Pre-Prep pupils share the excellent sports facilities of the Prep School and also have their own large playing field, terraced playgrounds and an enclosed area of woodland known as Little Wood.
All King's Hall pupils benefit from a state of the art all weather pitch, modern sports hall, three playing fields, heated outdoor pool, four tennis courts, six astro courts and three netball courts. We also offer extra coaching sessions for tennis and fencing after school hours, as well as overseas sports tours, including an annual ski trip to France and a Pony Trekking holiday.
The children have opportunities to develop their Athletics in Games, PE and hobby sessions on our 400 metre track, with the associated high jump, long jump and throwing areas. We regularly have children representing the South West Prep Schools' Athletics Team in the National Championships.
We have fixtures with other schools in the Summer Term and we enter the Track and Field Schools' Cup every year. The Prep Schools' Athletics Festival at King's College in May is always a popular event with both parents and children, as are the Inter-House Athletics competitions. Some of our more able athletes attend extra training at the Taunton Athletics Club throughout the year.
The game of cricket flourishes at King's Hall, where we are fortunate to have some impressive facilities situated in a beautiful environment. The school's approach to the game is heavily influenced by the MCC's Spirit of Cricket. This teaches the players the importance of respect: respect for our opponents, respect for our own captain and teammates, respect for the umpires and respect for the game's traditional values.
On a typical afternoon of matches it is not unusual for us to field ten different teams, ranging from the Under 9s all the way up to our 1st XI which is predominantly an Under 13 side. The Under 11, Under 12 and Under 13 teams have all been successful in their respective county competitions in recent years and in addition we have a fine record at all levels against schools in our region.
During the last fifteen years, something in the region of twenty of our cricketers have been selected to play for Somerset's junior age group teams and we presently have one boy on the county's Emerging Player Programme.
In addition to the boys' provision in cricket, the sport is rising in
popularity among the girls. From Years 5-8, girls can opt to play cricket
rather than the traditional rounders. Cricket hobbies are also available and
have been well attended.
Cricket continues through the winter months in our own Sports Hall, with its four lanes which enable intensive coaching to take place on a regular basis. Many pupils make the seamless transition from King's Hall to King's College. King's College has a fine cricketing tradition and it is renowned nationally as a Cricketing Centre of Excellence. We are fortunate that the coaching staff from the College help to play an active role in the development of our cricketers too. More recently, former pupil and England cricketer Jos Butler opened the school's Sports Performance and Cricket Centre.
Touring is an important element of the game, giving young cricketers an opportunity to play in different conditions as well as enabling them to extend the hand of friendship. The 1st XI from King's Hall has previously visited Holland, Zimbabwe and South Africa, and further overseas tours are planned for the future.
We are very fortunate to have the ideal grounds surrounding the school for cross country events. The purchase of the South Field situated just below the main school buildings gave us an extra running area for training, school competitions and our annual triathlon held in September. Spectators not wishing to put on their wellington boots and walk around the course can stand in front of the main school buildings and watch the runners for the majority of each race.
Our Inter-House Cross Country Competition, divided into three separate races of varying distances for the different age groups, is an event which develops a lot of camaraderie amongst the house teams. Our most able runners are often selected to run for Somerset and one or two of our most outstanding runners have competed in the National Schools Championships.
The construction of our full sized Astroturf hockey pitch has revolutionised the teaching and learning of hockey amongst both our boys and girls.
We have a full fixture list involving teams from the age of eight up to our 1st XI who are twelve or thirteen years of age and all are very competitive. Coaches from King's College, Taunton come up to us on a regular basis to offer advice and take training sessions. On some match afternoons we have to 'stack' matches three in a row in order to play all the games on our Astroturf pitch.
Taunton Vale Hockey Club are very good at welcoming new members regardless of age and involving them in their training sessions and teams. Sometimes we have players who are selected to play for Somerset and one of our former pupils is even on the verge of representing the England Under 16 XI.
Taunton Vale Hockey Club and Civil Service (based at King's College) are
very good at welcoming new members
Girls' Hockey is played at King’s Hall in the Michaelmas Term, on a sand-dressed artificial turf pitch, which was built in 2007. The girls play 7-a-side from Year 3 through to Year 8.
The main aim of the teaching programme is for the girls to learn the skills of the game in an enjoyable and positive manner. Individual skills are taught, reinforced and transferred into game situations, promoting a sense of achievement and progress.
Talent is recognised and pupils are put forward to trial for the Junior Development Course, where they can be selected to attend the Junior Academy Course and ultimately gain County selection and beyond. We regularly have girls achieving selection for the JDC and JAC groups.
Currently, there are six staff coaching across the six year groups, overseeing 13 teams. Matches are played from Year 4 upwards, with Year 3 participating in a Festival of Hockey with local schools. In each year group, all girls will represent the school at their own level.
Recognition of performance is important: end of term awards are made for progress and achievement. In addition, Junior Colours, Senior Colours and Major Colours are awarded to deserving players.
Rugby at King’s Hall starts with the tag version of the game, with the six and seven year old boys in the Pre-Prep. Tag rugby continues with the next age group and then contact rugby starts with the eight and nine year olds. Matches against other schools start with the seven and eight year olds and then, in accordance with the RFU Continuum, we have a comprehensive fixture list stretching up to our top team, the 1st XV.
Our school sporting philosophy is to make sure that every child has the opportunity to represent the school in a team in every term. We therefore had eleven rugby teams last term all of whom enjoyed success and above all had lots of fun. Our three senior teams played very successfully and won 80% of their matches, usually against much larger opposition.
The Year 8 boys go on a rugby tour every other year, usually to France, but in a recent October half term they traveled to Barcelona and had a terrific time. Coaches and Sixth Form boys from King's College come up and help with games sessions quite regularly and also many of our boys are members of Taunton RFC and Wellington RFC, our two local clubs, and so have extra coaching and matches on Sundays.
Every year we have 4-5 boys from the 1st XV who are selected to play for the Somerset Prep Schools XV and also some who are selected to play for the South West Barbarians XV. We have had two Year 8 boys who went on and played for the England Under 13 Barbarians XV, and we regularly have success in Rugby Sevens Tournaments. Each year we also enter the National Prep Schools' Rugby Sevens Tournament held in London in March.
Netball at King's Hall is played predominantly in year groups, where we run as many teams as numbers allow. All girls have the opportunity to represent the school at a level appropriate to their ability. Training is twice a week in games lessons, and matches are played on Wednesdays and some Saturdays. The six staff responsible for running the teams are enthusiastic and knowledgeable teachers, who are ably assisted by Gap students.
The three Netball courts are situated in an enclosed area, formally the walled garden of Pyrland Hall, which offers a unique and sheltered environment.
In addition to timetabled lessons, netball hobbies are run in both the Michaelmas and Lent Terms. Regular trips are made to Bath to watch Team Bath or international matches. Many fixtures are also played throughout the term against local Prep Schools, along with entry into tournaments and IAPS competitions.
Talented pupils are given the opportunity to trial for the County Academy. Recognition of performance is important: end of term awards are made for progress and achievement. In addition, Junior Colours, Senior Colours and Major Colours are awarded to deserving players.
Our outdoor heated pool provides a popular facility amongst our children for the learning of swimming techniques, personal survival and life-saving skills in the Summer Term.
Matches against local schools take place at King's College in their indoor 25 metres pool, but we still have some matches for the younger children in our pool. The Inter-House Swimming Competition at King's College takes place at the end of the Summer Term and is the highlight of the swimming fixture list. Nearly every child swims for their House team and the enthusiastic vocal support from parents and competitors is always deafening!
Our younger swimmers receive extra tuition throughout the year by attending the Pelican Swimming Club. Their training sessions takes place at King's College on Saturday mornings. It is very well attended and acts as a huge teaching boost to the PE swimming lessons at school in the Summer Term.
All boarders have a recreational swim on Monday evenings at King's College along with squad training, and Taunton Swimming Club provide specialist coaching and training throughout the year to our more experienced swimmers.
Tennis is played at King's Hall in PE lessons during the Summer Term, from Year 3 to Year 8, on six astroturf pitches and 4 hard courts - enclosed in the former walled garden. Children can use these courts in their break times and in games sessions.
Regular fixtures are played by our girls' Under 13 and Under 12 pairs against other Prep Schools, along with entry into the AEGON Under 13 Team Tennis competition by both boys and girls - where we have enjoyed much success and hotly contested matches over the past few years. Girls' Under 10 and Under 11 pairs are also encouraged to play matches against local schools once they are capable.
The Blackbrook Tennis Centre in Taunton provide specialist coaching to the more able and enthusiastic children of all ages.
For the younger pupils from Year 1 to Year 4, short tennis coaching is available all year round by keen and well qualified coaches, either in our sports hall or on the outdoor courts during the Summer Term.