Across the country more and more schools are putting sport at the heart of school life – none more so than St Paul’s RC High School in Glasgow.
St Paul’s is just one of a record-breaking 747 Scottish schools that have received the prestigious sportscotland School Sport Award, which is presented for innovation and achievement in delivering school sport and physical activity.
That is up 11% since last year and includes 399 schools that have now received a gold award – another all-time high. The number of schools now in possession of an award (gold, silver or bronze) has doubled since 2014/15.
St Paul’s and its four feeder primaries – St Angela’s, St Bernard’s, St Marnock’s and St Vincent’s have now all received gold awards – making it the first all-gold cluster in Glasgow. A fact staff and pupils at all five schools should be very proud of.
A remarkable journey
St Paul’s journey in terms of school sport has been remarkable. In 2016 pupils had attended 4,165 Active Schools visits. That figure now stands at a fantastic 8,615 – an increase of 94%.
Three years ago, 17 % of pupils were engaged in sport and physical activity in school. That has risen to 38%, way above the city average.
The school currently has 20 sports teams involving 263 pupils. In years gone by there were just two teams with a total of 20 pupils taking part. There are 20 different sports and physical activity clubs taking place each week. From football to gymnastics and dance to boxing, there is something for everyone.
The stats are of course great but it’s the young people who tell the real success story of the school. There are 28 Young Ambassadors who advertise, lead and organise sport and physical activity clubs at the school. Each Young Ambassador has a responsibility for taking a club. This includes advertising the club, monitoring participation and performance.
The Young Ambassadors award postcards to fellow pupils to recognise effort. The postcards, which contain congratulatory messages are sent via post to pupils, not just a nice touch but a great way of motivating and celebrating hard work and achievement in school sport.
Along with head teacher Lisa Pierotti, Active Schools coordinator Claire Clark has been a driving force for school sport and physical activity at St Paul’s. Claire works with the pupils on a day-to-day basis and she is in no doubt about the impact they are having across the school.
She said: “We’ve been on a long journey at St Paul’s High School to improve access to physical opportunities for pupils. We have been able to break down local barriers and work with partners including the community sport hubs to engage more children than ever before.
“The School Sport Award is recognition of the hard work of the pupils have put in over the past three years.
"They have really led on all the activities and clubs and have been the ones at the competitions and the events. So, they have really led the journey.”
As well as securing gold in the sportscotland School Sport Award, St Paul’s commitment to school sport and physical activity was also recognised in a recent inspection by Education Scotland. The inspection report praised the school highlighting a number of areas including leadership.
Find out more
About the School Sport Award.