Sport is a vital part of life at Moulsford, and whilst we do believe it is important to play to win, at Moulsford we regard the taking part – the teamwork, learning to win and lose, the development of self-esteem and social skills, the healthy exercise, as well as the fun – as equally valuable.
Teaching all boys to be sporting, not just those who are sporty, is one of our main aims. We want every boy to leave Prep school having enjoyed playing and with experience of many different games, while developing the sporting skills necessary to appreciate the value of ‘sport for life’. We believe that attitude towards sport is as important as ability within sport.
We have extensive playing fields, an Astro turf area with four tennis courts, a superb, modern indoor sports hall with climbing wall and competition trampoline, twelve cricket nets, an outdoor heated swimming pool for use during the Summer term, and access to the River Thames on which we can kayak, canoe and sail. In Years 3 – 4, boys are timetabled for four games sessions per week (approximately 60 minutes per session) plus a double PE session.
In Years 5 – 8, each boy has three games sessions during the week, with an extended Wednesday session, plus a double PE session, and matches on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Our talented and dedicated games staff are committed to providing the best possible environment and coaching to enable each boy to reach his full potential, as part of a team or as an individual, and whether at local, regional or national level. While the main team games are rugby, cricket, hockey and football, the combined skills and interests of the games staff allow us to also offer climbing, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, tennis, judo, trampolining, shooting, triathlon, golf, fencing, athletics, cross country, swimming and skiing, and this list is not exhaustive!
We are very proud of recent successes ranging from 1st VII placing in the top 6 at Rosslyn Park in 2017, qualifying for the football 6 a-side IAPS Nationals in 2018, Moulsford being ranked the number 1 Judo school nationally in 2018, and many very successful seasons for teams across all of our sports ranging from A to F teams.
Alongside this we are equally proud of our boys that go out and give their all playing for Moulsford and work very hard to improve at their sport. We have recently introduced the “Lion Heart Award” to acknowledge these efforts at age group or ability level. This sought after award is given to players that show an abundance of our sporting key values Endeavour, Enjoyment, Resilience, Team Work and Humility.
Director of Sport
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I have been teaching sport since 2007 and have been lucky enough to work at some great schools – Taunton School, Scots College in New Zealand and now Moulsford, having joined in 2013. Although the majority of my playing career has been in Rugby, I have a genuine passion for a lot of sports and am really lucky to be fully involved in Moulsford sport, helping boys reach their sporting potential.
Sport has always been a major part of my life. I was lucky enough to gain a strong start in sport through school and believe that school sport is a hugely powerful tool in moulding young people for their futures. Inspiring boys to reach their potential in sport, no matter what their ability, is what school sport is all about. We hope that during their time at Moulsford they understand the importance of, and show strong traits in, endeavour, humility, team work, resilience and of course enjoyment.
Representing the school in a match is an essential and important part of Prep school life
We strive to arrange a comprehensive fixture list each term that involves as many boys as possible, matched against teams at the appropriate level. It is not uncommon to have every boy in a year group playing on one day, and we are fortunate to have other schools nearby that can field as many competitive teams as ourselves. Last year, 790 matches were arranged, with some fixtures involving up to 18 teams on a single day.
We also select teams to compete nationally, including at IAPS tournaments, and many boys go on to gain sports scholarships to their chosen senior schools.
Internal House competitions between the four Houses take place in rugby and football in the Autumn and Spring terms, with cricket, a triathlon and Sports Day in the Summer term. All are hotly contested!
Broadening minds through travel and sport
Every other year, boys in Years 7 & 8 are invited to join a non-selective rugby and cultural tour, normally to South Africa. For Moulsford’s 9th and 10th Tours in 2016 and 2018, we combined our trip to South Africa with a visit to Swaziland. 2018 was the biggest tour yet, with 67 boys and 9 staff all in the travelling party.
The tour is considered to be one of the highlights of a Moulsford boy’s career, and offers so much more than a regular sports tour. As well as playing a lot of fun and competitive rugby, the boys have the eye-opening experience of being involved and working with our chosen charities – in 2018, these were Skrum, based in Swaziland, and the Goedgedacht Trust, based just north of Cape Town. The boys worked on a farm, in a pre-school and helped on community projects in under privileged communities.
As part of the whole experience, we frequently host touring sides from Southern Africa at Moulsford, so our opponents can experience life in an English prep school and form friendships and strong links with local schools in Africa. In 2014 and 2015, we hosted teams from Kenya and Swaziland respectively, who were able to visit the UK thanks to the charity TourAid. The Kenyan boys were all connected to Shamas, and the boys from Swaziland were all connected to Skrum. It is a highlight of each tour to meet up with our visitors who become firm friends.
Moulsford runs an annual ski trip, generally to Italy, which is always popular and great fun. Pupils receive professional ski instruction on the trip and make excellent progress during the week. We often enter an indoor ski race in September at Hemel Hempstead and some boys enter races in March in France. In 2015, we won an U10 Gold Medal and a silver in the U13 team event.
Climbing is offered through the PE programme and as an extra-curricular activity using the indoor climbing wall in the Sports Hall. The climbing wall has been recently extended thanks to the Parents’ Association. It is a great addition to a fantastic Sports Hall.
At Moulsford we make full use of our beautiful riverside site for sailing, kayaking, canoeing and even some race kayaking. It is a wonderful addition to the sporting life of the boys.
Tennis is taught within PE and played both as a sport and as part of the hobbies programme throughout the Summer term, with competitive matches played by boys from Year 4 to Year 8.
Judo is a popular option, and Moulsford boys regularly win medals at both Regional and National tournaments. In 2015, we were very proud to be placed joint 1st in the IAPS Judo Championship.
Shooting at Moulsford is an optional hobby with 30 to 40 boys attending weekly lessons. Boys have opportunities to compete against other schools including in the Schools Challenge and the School Nationals.
Triathlon is a new discipline at Moulsford but has been taken up by the boys with enthusiasm. We run our own annual internal house event, with the boys rowing, swimming and running. It is a great opportunity for boys to shine in the various disciplines.
Golf is played with great enthusiasm at Moulsford by pupils and staff alike. A number of boys enter tournaments throughout the year, notably the Oratory Tournament, of which Year 6 & 7 are the current trophy holders.
Boys from Moulsford regularly compete in fencing competitions including those organised by the Independent Association of Preparatory Schools. Moulsford also hosts the annual National Under-10 Sabre Competition.
Hockey is played in the Spring term both in Games and within PE, with a view to ensuring boys have appropriate skills for hockey at senior school level. We are playing an increasing number of fixtures, and the boys really enjoy and benefit from the increased focus on this sport.
Cross Country takes place throughout the Autumn and Winter. Athletics form a key part of the sports curriculum during the Summer term, culminating in our annual Sports Day and the IAPS Nationals. All of the boys from Year 3 to 8 run the ‘Moulsford Mile’ within their PE curriculum time.
Football is very popular at Moulsford with over 30 teams playing competitively during the season. Years 5-8 play football in the first half of the Autumn term with Year 3 and 4 playing in the Spring term.
All boys participate in swimming lessons at Moulsford, with the Pre Prep using the indoor swimming pool at Cranford House, and everyone else enjoying our beautifully situated outside heated pool in the Summer term. Swimming is such an important and fundamental life skill. Some of the boys swim competitively in the Summer term.
Cricket is played throughout the Summer term on our stunning riverside pitches. There are up to seven wickets available and some of the teams are able to train all year round using the indoor nets in the Sports Hall. We have twelve outdoor nets in full use in the Summer Term.
Moulsford has a well-deserved reputation for playing some outstanding rugby and being successful across the whole range of teams. Every single boy plays at the appropriate level and the boys all learn some great skills and wonderful morals playing this sport. There is a biennial non-selective Rugby Tour to South Africa, open to all of the boys in Years 7 & 8.