Highbank Primary School wins Nottinghamshire LTA School of the Year award

Highbank Primary School wins Nottinghamshire LTA School of the Year award, recognising the highly successful introduction of a Rackets Cubed programme in partnership with Nottingham Trent University.  

Since 2021, Highbank Primary School has worked with Nottingham Trent University in partnership with Rackets Cubed, to deliver an integrated Tennis, Education (STEM / Maths) and Nutrition programme for Year 3 and 4 primary school students from the local Clifton area. The programme strives to provide young people with significant complementary extra-curricular support to promote physical, psychological development and education achievement with the support of tennis.  

With this award, Nottinghamshire LTA have recognised the success of this programme which, since its introduction in October 2021, has engaged 32 unique participants, many of whom are pupil premium eligible and have never had the opportunity to participate in tennis particularly in the inspirational tennis venue and university facilities on Nottingham Trent University’s Clifton Campus site.  

Mr James Oxley, Highbank Primary School Sport Co-ordinator, said, ‘we have seen an impact within school with children playing tennis at home with the equipment they were given and during playtimes and lunchtimes. In terms of wellbeing, we have seen an improvement in behaviour and an increase in confidence and self-esteem in many of our pupils.’

 The award celebrates two key members of school teaching staff – James Oxley and Abigail Edmonds – who have been instrumental in recruiting pupils who are most in need of this opportunity as well as supporting with the logistics of running an after school off-site sports club. This programme requires the school to walk the pupils over 1.2 miles from the school site to the tennis venue each Monday from 3pm till 5.30pm meaning the teachers often don’t finish until around 5.50pm on a Monday, which is additional to their working week.  

The programme is delivered mostly by NTU student volunteers who are able to develop their coaching skills and achieve tennis coaching qualifications alongside their university degree. Significantly, the programme also highlights to the young people the commitment and care shown by the university students to give up their time to support them. The Rackets Cubed project has also seen collaboration between NTU Sport, NTU Catering and NTU Engineering academic department to deliver a truly unique extra-curricular programme.  

Ivan Hopkins, NTU Head of Hospitality and Catering, commented on the award, ‘This is excellent news and most deserving, its been a rewarding pleasure for NTU’s catering team to be involved with the project and offer support by providing a range of nutritional dishes to the children’.  

Highbank Primary & Nursery School goes above and beyond to deliver excellent curricular, extra-curricular and pastoral support to young people through sport. They have shown great trust and dedication in their local tennis venue – Nottingham Trent University – and the Rackets Cubed programme to offer a wholly unique opportunity to promote physical, psychological development and education achievement of their students through tennis. NTU Sport is delighted that they have been recognised with this award.  

If you are a student at NTU and are interested in volunteering for rackets cubed or an insightful opportunity similar to this you can find out more here.

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