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  • An international school with a local feel

    We provide a high quality international education in the historically-rich city of Nanjing

    An international school with a local feel

  • Inspiring students

    Students inspire and flourish at our school, becoming the best versions of themselves

    Inspiring students

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    Our professional community of teachers and staff shape our achievements


  • Enriching learning experience

    We offer an enriched English national curriculum with a global outlook


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    Find out more about The British School of Nanjing


The word is out: Multi-Sport is best!

A common question often asked of the PE department is ‘when should my child specialise in one sport’? It is a question that often generates great discussion.

At The British School of Nanjing, we believe that Physical Literacy is the foundation for achievement in PE and sport. This provides students with the necessary tools they need to take part in physical activity and sport. Students will gain motivation, confidence, movement competence, knowledge and understanding to value and take part in sport outside of school and also throughout their personal lifelong journey. When students are young, the multi-sport approach is the best method for developing their physical literacy. 

The multi-sport approach encourages students to play a wide range of sports and games prior to their teenage years. Even when they demonstrate talent and enthusiasm for one particular sport, they should not be compelled to specialise in this sport until they are well into their adolescent years.


At The British School of Nanjing, we provide students with opportunities across a wide range of activities and sports to enable them to gain experience, improve their athleticism and to develop a fundamental love of being active. In order for students to succeed, they must try different things to discover what they are good at, what they enjoy and what their passions are.

The data from our parent survey highlights the success of this multi-sport approach at BSN with 80% of parents agreeing that students participate in a wide range of sports compared to 68% for China and 65% for NAE as a global average. The data also highlights 93% of parents agreeing that our school promotes healthy lifestyles to my child compared to 86% for China and NAE.

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Research suggests there are many benefits to this approach. Firstly, playing a variety of sports in childhood leads to better skill development, athletic ability and creativity.  Early participation in multiple sports gives students a greater variety of movement skills to practise and master resulting in a more athletic student when they do decide to specialise in their chosen sport (88% of professional UK athletes come from a multi-sport background - Medical Society for Sports Medicine).

Secondly, students are less likely to develop overuse injuries and muscle imbalances often facilitated by repetitive movements over and over, day after day, month after month (Students who specialised were 70-93% more likely to be injured than students who played multiple sports - Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy Journal).

Finally, playing multiple sports decreases the risk of burnout which in turn decreases the risk of quitting the sport early. Sport is about developing confidence and character alongside building relationships with others. It is about developing good work habits and most importantly of all, sport is about having fun competing with and against your friends (Around 70% of students stop playing organised sports by the age of 13 because, “it’s just not fun anymore” - International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology).

As our Foxes programme gets back up and running, we want our awesome parents to take note of the above and remember; a ten-year old champion rarely becomes a twenty-five-year-old champion. We look forward to further building our programme and provision and working with parents to provide the best opportunities to our students.

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