Sporting excellence at Galashiels school

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Pupils and physical education staff at a Borders school have proven they are rather good sports, after receiving a prestigious national award.

Galashiels Academy has been recognised for innovation and achievement in delivering physical education and extra-curricular sport.

The sportscotland Gold School Sport Award was presented to staff and pupils at the school on Tuesday, October 4.

As part of the National Lottery-funded programme, the award is a national initiative designed to encourage schools to continuously improve physical education and sport.

The award also encourages sporting links between schools and the communities around them.

Stewart Harris, chief executive of sportscotland, said: “Congratulations to all the staff and pupils at Galashiels Academy – 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 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 building 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.”

Councillor Scott Hamilton, Scottish Borders Council’s children and young people’s champion, added his congratulations, saying: “Physical education, physical activity and sport are all considered highly important factors in the curriculum at Galashiels, both in and out of school, and staff work incredibly hard to deliver a wide range of sports and activities for the pupils to participate in. There is also recognition of the way in which sport develops important skills for life and work such as resilience, having a growth mindset and teamwork and everyone should be extremely proud that their commitment has been recognised at a national level.”

The School Sport Award is supported by the Active Schools Network, a programme that involves sportscotland working in partnership with all 32 local authorities to encourage schools to ensure there are opportunities for all children and young people to engage, participate and reach their potential in this area.

To achieve a bronze or silver award, schools self-assess their current practice using an online self-assessment tool which supports schools to reflect on their current practice and identify areas for improvement.

It also puts the pupils at the forefront of the decision making and implementation processes around sport in their school. To gain gold status, an extensive external assessment is also carried out by an independent panel of experts.

There are currently 212 gold, 336 silver and 84 bronze awards presented to schools across Scotland.