OUR ICS COMMUNITY: Stephanie Innes

Jennifer Wallace

We are delighted to continue our series of articles to introduce our Community. Today, meet Stephanie Innes, our ICS Côte d’Azur Sports Teacher.

How is sport organised at ICS Côte d’Azur for our students?

KG1 and KG2 have 2 x 30-minute lessons a week, in the mornings.

In Primary School, PY1 to PY6 have 2 x 1-hour lessons a week.

What kind of sports do you typically cover throughout the school year?

KG1 involves a lot of exploration of bodily control and movements, through diverse soft play obstacle courses for agility and coordination. In KG2, I primarily focus on basic motricity skills and coordination: balance, running, jumping, ball skills, body and space awareness, in both ball games, team games and obstacle courses.

In Primary School the students explore a diverse range of activities and experiences. We cover team sports such as football, tag rugby, volleyball, handball, basketball, ultimate frisbee, netball, lacrosse and orienteering, and we also introduce individual sports like athletics, short tennis, tri-golf, dance, and table tennis. 

With PY5 & PY6 I also introduce a module on leadership and game creation where they work in pairs to create a sport or game with a lesson plan, and they must teach it to the rest of the class. This develops their organisation and leadership skills, but in a different way than in the classroom.

Stephanie Innes with her students talking together

What is the ICS Côte d’Azur approach to teaching sport?

We develop and promote so many values and skills during our sports classes, like teamwork, respect, leadership, decision making, self discipline, creativity, confidence, healthy competition, finding joy in effort, and we evaluate and celebrate our achievements. I aim to build on these values in each lesson through a fun learning environment so that all children feel comfortable exploring and progressing.

Why is sport important for children?

If sport and physical activity are enjoyed at an early age, it is more likely that as children get older, they will adopt a healthy, balanced, and active lifestyle. Sport is important for children as it allows self expression, self-discipline, the development of diverse motor skills and body awareness. It also builds confidence, and helps children connect with others in team games for social interaction. Sport should always be fun for kids so that the experience is positive.

What kind of positive changes do you see in our students when they play sport?

When I spot a child who clearly has a particular talent for a specific sport, I will encourage them to join a club outside of school to nurture this talent, and I know students like receiving this kind of praise and feeling of achievement. There are also some pupils who are rather quiet and shy in class or even in the playground, but they ‘come alive’ through the enjoyment of sport.

What kind of sports do students play and compete in outside of school?

Our students do many sports outside of school in surrounding clubs, and some compete in competitions for their age group, like football, tennis, skiing/snowboarding, volleyball, rugby, water-skiing, horse-riding, and judo. They love coming to school after the weekend, and telling me all about the achievements after a competition!

Stephanie Innes with her students playing volleyball

What is it about your job that brings you the most joy?

The best part about teaching sport is just seeing the children smile, being happy to come to my lessons and enjoying themselves as they work together. I also love observing kids progress, as they each develop at their own rate and at different levels.

Anything else you want to add?

I aim for our students to experience a diverse range of sporting activities in order to develop various skills and techniques (physical, mental and social) that will be useful throughout their lives. I always try to make sure my lessons are creative and fun to encourage kids to get active outside of school too!