Menstrie Primary School has been recognised with a prestigious national award 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 (8th September). The school also celebrated the opening of brand new community running track which was built with funding from the Clackmannanshire Council Environmental Improvement Fund.
The School Sport Award is a national initiative that is designed to encourage schools to continuously improve the quality and quantity of physical education and school sport opportunities. They also encourage the sporting links between schools and the communities around them. There are currently 82 Gold Schools, 181 Silver and 65 Bronze across Scotland. Lornshill Academy has also received a Gold award.
Menstrie PS went through a self evaluation which looked at eight areas across PE, Physical Activity and Sport and due to their high levels of result they were asked to provide evidence backing up their answers, and to their delight were awarded Gold standard. The school delivers two hours of PE a week to every pupil, has over 40 extra curricular clubs per year, attended every inter-school event within the 2014-2015 CPSSA programme and has links with over 20 community sports clubs.
The award ceremony was followed by a whole school series of sponsored marathons and mini marathons for the children throughout the day. This event marks the beginning of the 'Running to Rio' challenge prior to the Olympic Games next year.
Stewart Harris, Chief Executive of sportscotland said: "I would like to congratulate all of the staff and pupils at Menstrie Primary for putting quality physical education and school sport at the heart of the school. They should be proud of this fantastic achievement.
"We are 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."
Cllr Ellen Forson, Convener of Education commented: "Everyone is very proud that Menstrie Primary has been awarded the sportscotland Gold School Sport Award, the first primary school in the area to reach this high standard. Congratulations go to all of the young people, staff and parents who have worked so hard to develop our aim of ensuring that physical activity is an important part of the learning that takes place in our schools.
"We are determined to ensure that all our young people reach their full potential, and ensuring that they regularly take part in physical activity helps them to stay healthy and learn well. This new running track will also be a great resource for everyone to regularly take part in exercise, and I'm pleased that the Environmental Improvement Fund was able to provide funding to introduce it at Menstrie Primary School."
To achieve a bronze or silver sportscotland School Sport 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 Young People's Sports Panel were central in the development of the School Sport Award which means that young people were able to input at the earliest opportunity.
The award will help ensure that quality physical education and school sport is at the heart of each school and its wider community. They will also encourage schools to ensure there are opportunities for all children and young people to engage, participate and reach their potential in this area.
Throughout the assessment process schools are encouraged to reflect on current practice and focus on continual improvement. Support and guidance is available to schools to help improve the quality and quantity of physical education, physical activity, and sport opportunities available to children and young people.