Young Gymnasts from Thanet and Canterbury recently competed in their respective ‘Key Steps Gymnastics’ inter-school tournaments. The competitions saw children from years 1-6 compete against other local schools to secure places in the Kent School Games Finals.

Key Step Gymnastics is a grass-roots competition framework that supports the sport’s development in Primary schools. It has been designed by British Gymnastics and helps ensure that a standard form of competition takes place across the country. British Gymnastics’ website explains the framework as follows …

Key Step – The Gymnastics

 There are 3 gymnastic areas, known as ‘disciplines’ in Key Step. These are floor, vault and body management.
  1. Floor: Sequences of gymnastic skills performed on a small matted area. Routines include balancing, jumping, rolling and flexibility skills. Music is optional at level 3
  2. Vault: Skills are performed travelling on and off a bench (level 1) or box top (levels 2 & 3), at levels 2 & 3 vault can be taught with or without springboard
  3. Body Management: Routines designed to prepare the body for gymnastics. Performed on a small matted area, routines include strength, flexibility, balance and co-ordination skills

For each ‘discipline’ there are 3 levels of routines (explained below).

 Key Step – Ability Levels

There are 3 levels of routines within each discipline (Floor, Vault and Body Management). Key Step 1 is aimed at complete beginners. Each subsequent level involves progressively more advanced skills.
 The age-related advice below should be considered as a loose guidance. Pupils should progress through the levels according to their ability; Newcomers to gymnastics should start at Key Step 1.
  1. Key Step 1 = Key Stage 1 (National Curriculum Years 1 & 2)
  2. Key Step 2 = Lower Key Stage 2 (National Curriculum Years 3 & 4)
  3. Key Step 3 = Upper Key Stage 2 (National Curriculum Years 5 & 6)

Just before the Easter holidays, Thanet Primary Schools competed at Ursuline College in their respective age categories for the chance to represent their schools, and their area, at the Kent School Games Finals, where they will have the chance to compete against the winning school teams from all other regions in the county.

The teams were clearly well rehearsed and all the effort and practice came to fruition as the gymnasts performed their routines and vaults in front of the judges. After all the routines and vaults were performed the winners from each age group were announced, with the top two going on to the Kent School Games Finals. Congratulations to the following …

Key Step Level 1 (Year 1 and 2): Callis Grange and St Mildreds

Key Step Level 2 (Year 3 and 4): Bromstone and St Josephs

Key Step Level 2 (Year 5 and 6): St Josephs and Bromstone

Next up was the Canterbury competition. This took place at the Canterbury Gymnastics Club and the young gymnasts were clearly impressed with the sprung floor that they would be competing on. The format for the competition was the same as the Thanet competition and the schools were equally prepared. The Easter break hadn’t disrupted training too much, and the youngsters were soon in full flow as they nailed their routines. Going through to represent Canterbury in the Kent School Games Finals are …

Key Step Level 1 (Year 1 and 2): Bridge A and Bridge B

Key Step Level 2 (Year 3 and 4): Canterbury Primary and Barham

Key Step Level 2 (Year 5 and 6): Canterbury Primary and Barham


Congratulations to everyone who took part in the two competitions, and good luck to the young gymnasts who will be representing their respective areas in the Finals.

Please take a look at our galleries of the competitions and feel free to share this article with anyone who may be interested.

Thanet Competition Gallery

Canterbury Competition Gallery