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Sport and PE at Huili: the four strands to success

10 Jun 2022

Kelly Shaw

Director of Sports


It is important that every pupil at Huili School thrive in PE and sport. Our vision is to ensure all pupils have a positive PE and sport journey throughout their time with us. We recognise that every child is different and will find success, enjoyment and challenges from different pathways and opportunities. To create an outstanding PE and sport department, four essential strands must be considered and developed.






Physical education and fitness


The fundamental purpose of physical education (PE) is to keep the nation fit and healthy, but there is much more to the subject at Huili. PE focuses on developing physical literacy, and knowledge across a range of sports and activities. The importance of physical health, fitness and wellbeing are also key elements of the PE curriculum. The Chinese government recognises this is an important subject and has placed more emphasis on PE by making it an essential element of the Zhongkao assessment requirements.


The amount of time allocated to PE in Huili’s curriculum allows the PE department to deliver a high-quality programme offering a full range of activities and prepare pupils for Zhongkao. Pupils learn the purpose of every PE lesson they participate in. They know how to progress and improve. But lessons are still fun and delivered in a supportive environment.

We also create opportunities for sports leadership. Pupils can participate in events and on a team without practically performing. We have sports leaders in the Primary School and House Sport Captains in the Secondary School. All pupils in the programme are taught theories on successful leadership, which are highly transferrable skills.  






Sport for competition


Developing competitive sporting opportunities for pupils has been a priority at Huili this year, and we are off to a good start. We have conducted team training during CCA time and early in the morning. We have a team of dedicated PE staff and coaches who specialise in a whole range of sports.


We have targeted several core sports, the ‘Huili Five’ — basketball, football, badminton, table tennis and swimming.  These are popular with our pupils, and we have the facilities to develop them.

We also have competitive programmes in several development sports – athletics, fencing, volleyball and golf.  We recognise that there are many other popular sports the pupils wish to compete in, and these are all being carefully considered. Our pupils currently compete in the Shanghai Sport League, and we plan to enter national and international competitions once COVID restrictions are lifted as well.  


We are also developing a partnership with elite coaches in swimming, fencing, basketball and football. These will be announced shortly. The recent completion of the fitness suite will provide a new dimension that enables us to deliver strength and conditioning training programmes for our elite sports performers.


We have hosted successful events in swimming (SSSA swim meets), the first SSSA fencing championship (in partnership with Huili Fencing) and a U11 basketball tournament. In Semester 2 we had looked forward to hosting table tennis, badminton, basketball and swimming competitions, but unfortunately some of these competitions needed to be postponed due to the current epidemic. We have had many successes in football, golf, fencing, basketball, table tennis and swimming.  

Huili pupils learn so much through competitive sport. It is not simply about winning or losing. The pride in representing Huili School, the selfless commitment to teammates and the importance of collaboration are all equally important.


Competitive sport can also reinforce resilience. Pupils can develop confidence in their ability to overcome failure and celebrate success whilst showing respect to their opponents and officials.

There is no denying that everyone loves winning and there is nothing better than celebrating success with your teammates! WeareHuili!





  Sport for fun and participation


Increasing engagement levels in sport, fitness and physical activity are equally as important as competitive sport. More and more children lead unhealthily sedentary lives. Huili’s physical educators, therefore, encourage and guide pupils to find a sport or activity they enjoy. The focus may be to improve fitness levels, improve skills, participate with their friends or simply have fun.


When a pupil finds an activity or sport they enjoy, we hope they will continue this activity for the rest of their lives. It is a proud moment when a pupil who has previously been disengaged with sport finds an activity that they are passionate about.

We provide activities in our CCA programme, within the PE curriculum and through inter-house sport. Examples of this include our ‘learn to swim programme’, non-select CCAs and mass participation in inter-house sports such as our recent Primary School dodgeball competition.





 Academic PE


Sport is a big business with countless career opportunities, such as physiotherapy, journalism, sports medicine, sports nutrition, sports psychology, coaching, marketing, fashion and, of course, elite sports performance.

This year, in the high school, we have offered an additonal PE course as an option for pupils to study. The course covers practical performance, physiology and anatomy, health and fitness, skill acquisition, psychology and social, cultural and ethical topics. 


This is an excellent course for the pupil who loves sport and is interested in the science and theory that surrounds sport, health and fitness. After graduation, there are countless sport-related degrees available globally at prestigious universities.

Furthermore, playing sport at a high level makes our pupils highly valued in the eyes of university recruiters. Many universities even offer scholarships to elite athletes in the sports that we offer at Huili.



How can we support our 

pupils’ development in PE and Sport?

As teachers and parents, we should continue to provide opportunities for children to experience new activities. When they find a passion, give them support and guidance. Pressure is not necessary. Our children just need to develop a love of any sport if they are to be successful.