General News:

Local school strikes gold with top sporting accolade


Sporting stars at Skene Square School deservedly received a top national sporting accolade in November, recognising how the school place physical education and sport at the heart of their ethos and the effort that goes into getting more young people healthy and active.

The Granite City primary school was the only one in Aberdeen to be awarded the sportscotland Gold School Sport Award this year. The Gold School Sport Award is the highest accreditation within the initiative. 

The sportscotland School Sport Award is presented for innovation and achievement in delivering school sport and physical activity, with 747 schools across the country now in possession of an award. It recognises schools that put young people at the forefront of decision making and planning of school sport and PE while increasing participation opportunities. 

The number of gold schools across Scotland now stands at an all-time high of 399, an increase of 40.5% from last year’s total of 284. A further 274 schools achieved silver and 74 bronze after a significant number of schools completed their continuous improvement journey towards the gold award. 

Over the last two years Skene Square School has worked closely with Active Schools Aberdeen, run by registered charity Sport Aberdeen, to improve provisions and increase opportunities for their young people in sport and physical education.

Keith Gerrard, Sport Aberdeen Director of Healthy and Active Communities commented: 

“This is a brilliant achievement and one made possible through close partnership working between our Active Schools Coordinator and the staff at Skene Square School.  

“This is an exciting time for sport in our city. Figures published by sportscotland showed a record number of young people taking part in physical activity over the last year and we are thrilled to be playing our part in creating more opportunities for school pupils to take part in sport and lead a healthy and active lifestyle.”

Chief Executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, said:

“It’s testament to the work of a variety of partners, including thousands of pupils, parents, volunteers and teachers, that we can now say this is a record-breaking year for the School Sport Award. Each and everyone involved should be very proud of this fantastic achievement. 

“There is an undoubted value in sport being at the heart of school life. With that in mind we are committed to helping build a Scotland where sport is a way of life and young people in schools are central to this.” 

Councillor John Wheeler, Convener of Aberdeen City Council’s Education Operational Delivery Committee, said:

“This is fantastic recognition for the pupils and staff at Skene Square School and on behalf of Aberdeen City Council my congratulations go to all involved. We want every young person in the city to have the opportunity to fulfil their potential and leading a healthy, active lifestyle is an important piece of the jigsaw. The energy, enthusiasm and commitment of everyone at Skene Square is a real inspiration.” 

Pam Burney Skene Square School Deputy Head Teacher also added: 

“Over the last two years we have worked hard to provide an exciting range of sports for our pupils. As a city centre school with very little outdoor space we have had to think ‘out of the box’ at times but have managed to offer everything from basketball, running, badminton dance and even hosted our own Duathlon! We are very proud of our Gold School Sport Award, it’s an amazing achievement!” 

Funded by the National Lottery, the School Sport Award is a national initiative designed to encourage schools to continuously improve extra-curricular sport. It also encourages links between schools and local communities, providing opportunities for young people to progress and further develop their sporting experiences. The award also encourages sporting links between schools and the communities around them, providing opportunities for young people to progress. 

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.