Schools across Aberdeenshire have been recognised in a prestigious national sports award for innovation and achievement in delivering PE and extra-curricular sport.
Three schools were awarded Sportscotland’s highly prized gold status in the School Sport Award; nine achieved silver status and one was honoured with bronze status.
As part of the National Lottery funded programme, the Sportscotland School Sport Award is a national initiative that is designed to encourage schools to continuously improve PE and sport. The award encourages sporting links schools and the communities around them.
The Sportscotland School Sport Award is supported by the Active School’s Network which aims to ensure there are opportunities for all children and young people to engage, participate and reach their potential in this area and is part of Aberdeenshire Council’s Sport and Physical Activity Service.
Cllr Gillian Owen, Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services, said: “I am delighted that so many schools in Aberdeenshire have been acknowledged in this prestigious national award.
“The schools involved impressed those judging the award by presenting a wealth of evidence demonstrating among other aspects increased attainment and that key targets were met.
“Schools also demonstrated an increase in the number of extra-curricular sports clubs and a rise in the number of activities offered. For example, at Meldrum Academy participation rates went up three per cent from 24 per cent to 27 per cent.
“I would like to thank all the teachers, pupils’ parents and Council Officers who played such a key role in this success.”
Cllr Anne Stirling, Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Communities Committee, said: “There is plenty of anecdotal evidence which suggests that young people who are involved in sport at after school clubs not only become healthier but are less likely to get involved in anti-social behavior.
“This is not only good for the young people but means are communities are nicer places to live, work and visit as a result.
“Schools play a vital role in shaping our children and young people as citizens so it is very positive indeed that so many schools in Aberdeenshire are receiving these noteworthy awards.”
Stewart Harris Chief Executive of Sportscotland, said: “Congratulations to all the staff and pupils at the schools in Aberdeenshire – they should be extremely proud of this fantastic achievement. Not only have they put physical education and sport at the heart of their school and the local community, but they have managed to do so in a way that encourages all pupils to engage in physical activity whilst having fun at the same time.
“Sportscotland is committed to being a world-class sporting system for everyone, and a crucial part of that is putting young people at the heart. Working with our partners in local authorities and governing bodies of sport, we are creating closer links between physical education, school sport and club sport, which benefits young people by providing more and better opportunities to take part in sport.”
With more applications than ever before, there are currently 212 sportscotland Gold School Sport Award schools – 336 schools have been awarded silver and 84 with bronze.
To achieve a Bronze or Silver Sportscotland School Sports Award, schools self-assess their current practice. However, to gain gold status an extensive external assessment is also carried out by an independent panel of experts.
The on-line self-assessment tool supports schools to achieve this by helping them to reflect on their current practice and identify areas for improvement. It also puts young people in the school at the forefront of the decision making and implementation processes around the school.
For more information, please visit https://sportscotland.org.uk/schools/school-sport-award/.
Here is a list of the schools in Aberdeenshire that have received awards:
GOLD (REVALIDATION) Ellon Academy
GOLD (REVALIDATION) Meldrum Academy
GOLD The Gordon Schools
SILVER Aboyne Academy
SILVER Barthol Chapel Primary School
SILVER Elrick Primary School
SILVER Lairhillock Primary School
SILVER Markethill School
SILVER Mearns Academy
SILVER Midmar Primary School
SILVER Skene Primary School
SILVER Westhill Academy
BRONZE Crombie School