If you do not believe you can do it then you have no chance at all.Arsène Wenger (1949–) French football manager

Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it. Michael Jordan (1963–) American former professional basketball player

Our Physical Education Department aims to provide all pupils with the opportunity to develop physical skills and interests through an extensive range of activities. The fundamental philosophy of the Department is:

  1. To offer a broad and balanced range of activities in which participation will lead to the acquisition and development of co-ordination, mental awareness, agility and bodily control.
  2. To aim to incorporate ethical behaviour, to develop qualities of leadership, self-discipline, independent thought and responsibility.
  3. To encourage a healthy attitude to sport that continues into adult life.

All pupils from Lower One to Form Five have one 50-minute compulsory Physical Education lesson a week taught by full-time qualified staff as part of the regular timetable.

Swimming is an integral part of this programme at all levels, with the focus in the younger years on water confidence and stroke development. In the Middle School, a great deal of emphasis is placed on stroke technique but also in discovery of skills in other water-based activities, such as synchronised swimming. We believe that swimming is an essential life skill as well as a means of gaining satisfaction, fitness and enjoyment.

The design of our physical education programme also allows us to identify and develop gifted athletes and to aid them in the pursuit of their chosen sport to high levels of achievement.

Throughout the year, Oakham pupils enjoy the use of first-class Physical Education facilities, including the Sports Hall, gymnasium, multi gym, squash courts, tennis courts, two all-weather Astroturf pitches and acres of excellent playing fields. This enables us to offer a range of activities for the pupils from pop lacrosse to ultimate frisbee and badminton to gymnastics.

Glenn Gelderbloom

Glenn Gelderbloom

Housemaster of Haywoods

I joined Oakham in 2005 as a teacher of PE and Games. Oakham was my first teaching post in the UK, after previously teaching at Dale College and Rondebosch Boys’ in South Africa and I also played a bit of rugby in Ireland and England. I have been Head of Boys PE since 2006. I was previously Senior Tutor in Clipsham before starting my new position as Housemaster of Haywoods in 2018. I enjoy all Oakham has to offer and look forward to an exciting and rewarding future ahead.

Peta Girdwood

Peta Girdwood

Assistant Director of Sport (Girls)

I joined the PE Department as Head of Girls PE in 2014 from Jumeirah English Speaking School, Dubai where I spent a year experiencing the international school environment as well as the IB. Prior to that I worked at RGS Newcastle for three years as Head of Netball and Assistant Head of House.