Junior School

Junior Sports

Department aims

The junior school programme is inclusive, and our aim is to ensure that physical education, sport, and physical activity should be an integral part of every pupil’s school experience and weekly routine. We want all our pupils to have access to a wide variety of sports in the hope that they find a sport or activity that they are passionate about and enjoy taking part in, and will continue to do so throughout their time at school.

We want our pupils to be active and engaged in weekly physical activity, to enjoy participating in physical education, sport & physical activity. We also want all of our pupils to have a sense of achievement from their involvement in curriculum lessons and extra-curricular activities and understand the benefits of being physically active on their well-being and physical, social, and moral development.

The department

Exeter School is fortunate to have an excellent physical education department made up of seven full time and two part time PE teachers who are supported by two athletic development coaches and a hockey performance coach. The department work across the senior and junior school.

The junior school sports programme is led by the Head of Junior School sport who is supported by some experienced academic staff, many of whom have been involved in competitive sport. This team help coach and manage teams with the support of the PE department and specialist external coaches in football, hockey, swimming, squash, and tennis.



The schools’ sports facilities are outstanding with a 25-acre site which includes superb playing fields, a set of hockey astro-turfs as well as excellent indoor facilities with a 25m indoor pool, sports hall and fitness suite including conditioning room, aerobic room, and dance studio. The pupils also have access to two squash courts.

Physical Education & Games Curriculum

We believe in sport for all, with weekly differentiated PE lessons tailored to pupils of all abilities and interests. Well-qualified and experienced staff from both the junior and the senior school join forces to team-teach, ensuring high-quality coaching and a staff to pupil ratio that allows for more individual contact time.

Pupils in Form One (Year 3) and Upper One (Year 4) have two PE lessons a week, to sit alongside their single games session (Thursday PM) and Lower Two (Year 5) and Upper Two (Year 6) have one PE lesson a week, which is complemented by their two games sessions (Tuesday & Friday PM). Our broad and varied curriculum include functional movement skills, fundamental movement patterns, rhythmic movements and hand-eye coordination which are all taught through a range of units of work including, gymnastics, racket skills, invasion games, swimming, athletics, tennis, striking and fielding and health related fitness.

During games afternoons pupils will have sessions in the schools’ traditional sports which change each term: autumn term, rugby (boys), hockey (girls), spring term hockey (boys) netball (girls), summer term cricket (boys and girls). Both boys and girls in lower 2 and upper 2 (Year 5&6) will also have the opportunity to participate in football in the second half of the autumn term and tennis in the second half of the summer term. All games sessions are led by PE/sport specialist and will be age and ability appropriate.

Fixtures and competitive sport

The Junior School fields A, B and occasionally C teams, at all age levels in the major sport each term. Our aim is to ensure that every pupil gets the chance to get involved in either an internal or external fixture by the end of each term and selection for teams will reflect this. We also aim to make sure that our most able pupils are catered for, and coaching and fixtures are deigned to challenge these pupils and teams.

The fixture card includes fixtures against private and state schools both locally and further afield. The school also enters various tournaments at local and county level organised by national governing bodies, these include IAPS competitions for sports such as squash and swimming. Competitive fixtures normally take place on each year groups games afternoon but there are also a several ‘Super Wednesdays’ and weekend tournaments each term to develop the fixture card further. Information about sports teams and fixtures can be found at SOCS – Exeter School Sports

The junior school teams have had tremendous success recently. In 2022-23 the U11A boys cricket team qualified for the national finals, girls, the boys U11 hockey squads reaching the west finals (the boys were crowned champions) and several junior school pupils competing at the national IAPS swimming finals and national prep school athletics finals. Junior school pupils also represent county squads across a range of sport.

There are also house sports events each term which are a highlight of the sporting calendar for many; pupils relish the chance to compete with pupils across the years. Pupils compete in their age groups in each of the schools’ major sports each term. There are also three whole school house events each year with house cross country, swimming, and athletics (sports day). Each event strikes a nice balance between being fully inclusive whilst also being competitive and showcasing the most able athletes.

Extra-curricular Opportunities and Sports Clubs

A busy programme of clubs ensures extensive and inclusive access to a wide range of sports to engage pupils of all abilities and interests. Our aim is to engender an enjoyment of sport, to motivate pupils to leading a healthy and active lifestyle at Exeter School and beyond.

Clubs are held both at lunchtime and after school by junior school staff, the Pe department and specialist coaches. A balance is struck between individual, and team sports and parents are sent a schedule of clubs ahead of each term.