Game, set and match to Edinburgh schools tennis award

Education Convener congratulates three high schools on scooping top tennis award.

Councillor Cammy Day said he was delighted that the the School of Tennis Pilot scheme in Edinburgh has been named as the winning project for Tennis Scotland’s 2016 Education Programme Award.

The Edinburgh project involved three local secondary schools, with funding from the Tennis Foundation and support from City of Edinburgh Council and Tennis Scotland, with the aim being to revolutionise the way tennis is delivered in secondary schools.

The schools, Firrhill High, Liberton High and James Gillespie’s High, have all taken the School of Tennis name and made huge strides forward over the pilot phase, embedding tennis in the curriculum and getting more pupils playing the game in and out of school.

Cllr Day said: "We are really pleased to be in such an exciting partnership with Tennis Scotland and the Tennis Foundation. I believe that our approach to the project has measured up extremely well across all the Schools of Tennis throughout the UK. This has to be a good reflection on both the City of Edinburgh Council and Tennis Scotland."

The schools have all been involved in their own projects but have come together on several occasions to learn and share as a cluster through CPD opportunities and events. The schools have also met up for competition, and in late November 14 girls and 12 boys took part in the inaugural “School of Tennis Slam” which involved over 120 matches in an afternoon of fun, but competitive, tennis at Craiglockhart. After a year of establishing tennis in the schools the next steps will be linking further with the local clubs and developing a sustainable model for delivery of tennis in Secondary schools

Individually the schools have also had their own achievements with Firrhill High School having successfully incorporated tennis in to their S1 and S2 curriculum, set up a link with a local tennis club and entered the Scottish Schools Tennis Championships!

James Gillespie’s High School has successfully embedded tennis into their S1 and S2 curriculum and now has tennis as an option for S3-6. James Gillespie’s also entered the Scottish Schools Tennis Championships and now have set up recreational and team based after school club sessions with local coaches and clubs.

Liberton High School has increased weekly participation in tennis from 0-50 within the space of just 6 months. Liberton have also taken an innovative step to timetable tennis for kids who are perhaps disengaged in other aspects of school life. The school also have been delivering a series of tennis based activity classes for a group of ASN kids which has proved to a real success.

The 3 schools all deserve recognition for the hard work they have put in to establishing the “School of Tennis” name in Scotland during the pilot. The teachers, senior management team, coaches and council staff should all be commended for their efforts. The School of Tennis programme is now being expanded in Scotland with a further 6 schools across the country being given “School of Tennis” funding for 2017.