Is it the taking part, or winning?
Betty Terris, headteacher, explained that it's horses for courses. "We have two children off to a cycling competition and we said : 'Do your best, you're ambassadors of the school.' But it's not the taking part that counts - it's the winning."
She admits the messages may seem contradictory, but believes it works in context: "Pupils need to have a competitive edge because it is a difficult world out there, but it's also about self-esteem.
"It's about the lessons you learn when you don't win and being a good sport and being able to say 'Well done', because life's like that."
Ms Terris backs a mixture of both. "We do have an old-fashioned sports day where those who are first, second and third in every race get a sticker.
But we also have fun races where there is no prize at all. This is where the non-sporty children may come into their own."