Park School is the first of two Additional Support Needs (ASN) schools to achieve the prestigious Gold sportscotland School Sport Award for innovation and achievement in delivering physical education, physical activity and sport.
Aileen Campbell MSP, Scottish Government Minister for Public Health and Sport, attended the school on February 2 to present the pupils with their sportscotland Gold Award.
The event, attended by members of the ParalympicsGB team who competed in boccia at Rio 2016, was part of a wider announcement, revealing that 158 schools across Scotland have achieved the Gold Award.
Park School in Kilmarnock and Kaimes School in Edinburgh have become the first two ASN schools to achieve the top accolade.
What is the sportscotland School Sport Award?
The sportscotland School Sport Award is a National Lottery-funded 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.
To achieve a Bronze or Silver sportscotland School Sport Award, schools self-assess their current practice. To gain Gold status an extensive external assessment is also carried out by an independent panel of experts.
The 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.
The online 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 the young people in the school at the forefront of the decision making and implementation processes around sport in their school.
Putting young people at the heart
Stewart Harris, Chief Executive of sportscotland, said: “Congratulations to all of the staff and pupils at Park School for putting physical education and sport right at the heart of their school and local community. They should be proud of this fantastic achievement.
“At sportscotland we’re building a world-class sporting system for everyone, and a crucial part of that is putting young people at the centre of our efforts.
"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.”