Golden award for top special school

Kaimes School has become the only special school in Edinburgh to be awarded a prestigious national sports award. 

Gold sportscotland

The City of Edinburgh Council school, which has 100 autistic pupils, has been recognised with the sportscotland Gold School Sport Award. 

The accolade is part of a national initiative designed to encourage schools to continuously improve physical education and sport whilst encouraging sporting links between schools and the communities around them. 

No special school in Scotland has received the title until both Kaimes and Park School in East Ayrshire were given the Gold accolade in the latest awards

Ros Miller, Head Teacher at Kaimes School, said: “I am so proud of the achievements of the children and the efforts and creativity of the staff which have been recognised with this award. 

“Health and wellbeing is central to the ethos of the school and in addition to our timetabled PE sessions we encourage participation in sport by offering lunch and after school clubs as well as regular residential camps linked to outdoor physical activities such as climbing, canoeing, sailing and skiing. 

“There’s a real ‘can do’ attitude at the school and I’ve seen our young people flourish and develop their self-esteem by taking part in sport and outdoor activities, and it’s an absolute joy to see their sense of achievement.”

Councillor Cammy Day, Education Convener, said: “Well done to everyone associated with Kaimes for being the first special school in Edinburgh to get the GOLD award from sportscotland. 

“Keeping our young people fit and healthy is really important not just through their PE lessons but also in extra-curricular activities as well. 

“Our Active Schools and the Sport & Outdoor Unit deliver hugely successful events for young people such as Games @ The Hub which saw 1,400 pupils take part in during the summer.” 

Stewart Harris, Chief Executive of sportscotland said: I would like to congratulate all of the staff and pupils at Kaimes School for putting physical education and sport at the heart of their school and local community. They should all be extremely 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.”

Kaimes are the third City of Edinburgh Council school to receive the Gold award after St Joseph’s Primary and Firrhill High. 

There are currently 158 Gold Schools, 281 Silver and 92 Bronze across Scotland. 

Notes to editors: 

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 aims to put sport at the heart of each school and its wider community. The award also encourages schools to ensure there are opportunities for all children and young people to engage, participate and reach their potential in this area. 

The on-line 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. 

The sportscotland School Sport Award focuses on the following 9 core areas;

1. Physical education - All pupils should have access to 2 hours/2 periods of physical education.

2. School sport - All pupils should have access to a range of quality extracurricular sports and activities to take part in before, during and after school.

3. Pathways - There should be clear pathways to a range of community sport opportunities to encourage lifelong participation for all pupils.

4. Compete and perform – Pupils should have opportunities to compete and perform in events, festivals and regular competition.

5. Celebrating sport – Pupils achievements in sport at all levels should be celebrated, including; participation, performance, spectating, leading, coaching and officiating.

6. Leadership – Pupils should have opportunities to lead, coach, officiate and influence sport in their schools.

7. Career long professional learning (CLPL) – All staff and volunteer deliverers should be encouraged to engage in and have access to a range of quality physical education and sport related CLPL opportunities.

8. Recognition and awards – Schools should formally and informally recognise the staff and volunteers who give up their time to support, organise or deliver extracurricular sport and physical activity opportunities in the school.

9. Access to school facilities (secondary only) – School should form strong links to local sports clubs and organisations and provide preferential access to school facilities for these linked organisations, where possible.     

The School Sport Award review panel consist of representatives from the following groups and organisations;

  • sportscotland
  • Physical Education Lead Officer network
  • Active Schools network
  • Young People’s Sport Panel
  • National Governing Bodies of Sport
  • Scottish Disability Sport

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