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How the Academy began…

My name is Aaron Smith and I am the founder of SSA which consists of 20 sports coaches and Sports mentors. We have partnered successfully with Croydon schools over the past 15 years and in this time we have built up an excellent working relationship. We are an organisation which focuses on bringing the fun associated with sport to the South London area. Our emphasis on fun is crucial to us, as we believe that so often the competitive nature of sport can take over and the enjoyment of the great game can be lost.

I have always had a passion for football and sport. I played for Tottenham Football Club for 3 years, and also represented Surrey Schools and the borough of Croydon at primary school level until leaving secondary school. I captained and played at first team level for Sutton United Football Club and lucky enough to have played at a semi professional level for nearly 20 years.

I started working with children 15 years ago. At that time I was the only coach and held some sessions at Whitehorse Manor and Ashburton Junior School. Initially I taught PE sessions and from that I was asked to support/mentor children with specific behavioural issues. Due to these schools and the children enjoying my sessions and seeing the benefit from my mentoring work, I then started to work with more and more schools and it evolved into Smith’s soccer school to Smith’s Sports Academy and now SSA

All of my team are chosen specifically by myself and James White, Team Consultant to ensure that the same ethos that we try and create of enjoyment and respect being maintained in all of the schools that we work in. James has worked with me for the past 10 years and is a very dedicated and loyal member of the SSA management team. He has contributed significantly in supporting me maintain and spread my ethos of fun and enjoyment for all children. James has also worked alongside me in developing the SSA sports curriculum. Others who have made a significant and much appreciated contribution to the growth of SSA are Ben Uzun, David Gill and Aaron Marson, who are all now in leadership roles within the company.

James White

Smith’s Sports Academy Team & Curriculum Development Manager

James White
SSA Team Consultant

James is our Sports Consultant he up skills the teachers and coaches and works directly with the schools PE lead and verifies all safeguarding procedures and audit that SSA undertakes which is paramount when working in the school environment .

James has valued experience and knowledge he has worked in many different areas as a freelance Sports Consultant and coach and extremely respected by everyone.

James has and continues work with Children’s homes, Nurseries, Primary schools, Secondary schools behaviour units. James’s role for the Academy is to maintain the levels of quality from all areas from training and developing the team, working closely with schools and myself ensuring the safeguarding is up to date he also has co developed our own curriculum with myself so our sessions can be mirrored through the schools we are working in . James is available to come in and work with you and add an ideas to the table or wish some of your staff to develop in key areas as behaviour, PE, Lunch or after schools sessions .

We are currently working a lot with Lunch supervisors to build amore games into a very key hour of the day for the children.

Please contact directly on we will be happy to get involved and help in any way possible.

Eight of my coaches are actually people who I used to teach when the Academy first started Not only am I very proud of them, but I feel that this speaks volumes in the service that we provide, as it not only inspires young people to make a difference to the community in which they live, but they clearly enjoyed what we did so much all those years ago that they wanted to create the same experience for children today. We have lots of children that get in contact when they leave school or college and we offer some work for when they are not sure on what they want to do, sometimes coaching isn’t something they want to do but we help or guide in anyway we can and remain in contact with them even when they move into a different career path. They all have the same passion and deep belief I have, that is that we all have something to offer and it needs to be nurtured carefully to ensure that every child succeeds and reaches their full potential. I ensure that we maintain the highest standards at all times whatever sessions we run. My coaches are all reliable, friendly, professional and most importantly of all we want the children to enjoy sport and succeed at what they are doing.

As well as this we have partnered with Colleges, training up students and apprentices that want to work with and make a positive difference to children. The colleges recognised our ethos at SSA as being one that was something they wanted their students to be part of. Our emphasis is enjoyment through sport and inspiring the next generation to have confidence in themselves so that can succeed in all areas of life.

To ensure that all of our sessions are of the highest quality and link to the National Curriculum, we hold monthly staff training days which all staff attend and the lead staff monitor the sessions taught through observations throughout the school year. Our main objective is to introduce children of primary age to sport in an enjoyable, fun and inspiring manner which develops their confidence and in turn their sporting skills. The keeping fit element is also a main priority as so many youngsters do not get the exercise required to keep them healthy, and which will help them develop into confident teenagers & adults.

“Our ethos is simple – Enjoyment & Fun is key to everything”

We are extremely lucky to be able to work in the school environment its an amazing place to work in.
Aaron, Jamesand the Team

The Rational behind our PE Curriculum at SSA

  • PE makes a significant contribution to pupils’ personal well-being, development and enjoyment of school
  • There is still some evidence of the positive impact of School Sport Partnerships – which is a very positive aspect of PE that the government would like to keep and the not so good?
  • Subject Knowledge and confidence remains an issue in Primary PE delivery as does planning and assessment
  • More able pupils not being challenged enough
  • The ‘Physical’ aspect is under-developed: PE needs to do more to tacklesedentary lifestyles – children need be as active as possible throughout every PE lesson

Another factor to consider is the Government’s recent announcement on additional funding for school sport for the next two years.

It seems likely that this will lead to additional demand for qualified sports coaches in Primary Schools. Ofsted will be tasked with ensuring the Government receives ‘value for money’ with this additional funding, so coaches will be assessed by the same criteria as teachers. With that in mind, a sound understanding of the new National Curriculum will be more important than ever for school deployed coaches.

Ofsted will be looking for teachers and coaches to raise pupil’s achievement. Primarily this will be assessed through lesson observations, which we organise with the schools e

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