The Active Schools Network in Scotland is a team of people working within the school and the wider community. Their goal is to offer all children and young people the motivation and opportunities to ‘get active’ ensuring there are more and higher quality opportunities for all children to participate in sport within schools and to increase capacity through the recruitment of a network of volunteers, who in turn deliver activity sessions in schools.
The Active Schools team is made up of:
Sport and Leisure Manager – Garry Burton
Active Schools Co-ordinator – Catherine Johnson
Active Schools Co-ordinator – Michael Swanney
Active Schools Co-ordinator – Cheryl Rafferty
National award for innovation and achievement in PE
Kirkwall Grammar School has recently been recognised with a national award for innovation and achievement in delivering physical education and extracurricular sport.
The sportscotland ‘School Sport Award’ is a national initiative that is designed to encourage schools to continuously improve physical education and sport. The award also encourages sporting links between schools and the communities around them.
Garry Burton, sport and leisure manager, said “This milestone represents a lot of hard work by the school, their staff, pupils and parents, the council’s Active Schools Team and the local sporting community who generously give their time to support the sporting life of our schools. We’ll continue to work hard to give our young people every opportunity to make sport a part of their life, during school and beyond.”
Magnus Garson, Principal Teacher of PE at Kirkwall Grammar School, added: “We are delighted with the award and are already looking at ways in which we can build on this in years to come. We have created a pupil sports committee whose sole job is to run the inter-house sports competitions for all year groups. This has provided senior pupils with a sense of responsibility and encouraged others to contribute towards the overall school ethos and support the new house system that was launched prior to the summer holidays.
"We strive to offer our pupils a variety of activities so that students gain a broad range of experiences to enhance their participation in sport and physical activity in school, extracurricular choices and in the community.”
Cheryl Rafferty, Active Schools Coordinator
Dance Leaders go (very) active
Four S5 pupils became qualified Dance Leaders in October 2014, as part of Y-Dance’s Y-Dance Active Programme. Since then three of the girls have been extremely enthusiastic and committed to delivering a range of dance opportunities within KGS and to primary school pupils within Orkney. To date the girls have been involved in organising and delivering the following:
• KGS After School Dance sessions most Wednesdays after school
• Dance sessions to approximately 140 P7 pupils as part of Active Schools' annual P7 Transition Sport Festival
• Dance sessions to primary school pupils, including some of the peedie island schools, Shapinsay, St. Andrews and Burray
The girls have shown so much commitment to every opportunity that has been offered to them and they are always extremely keen to do these sessions, where they plan and do all the choreography, mostly by themselves.
The girls are very enthusiastic and we are in the midst of planning a range of other visits to schools and opportunities for them to deliver dance sessions. This
commitment is greatly appreciated by Active Schools, KGS and of all the primary schools that they have visited.
In October 2015 Y-Dance ran another Dance Leadership course, with one other KGS pupil also becoming a Dance Leader, and it is hoped that Kaitlyn can also become involved in delivering some dance sessions.
Young Ambassadors in Inverness
Dance Leadership Awards success
Ten pupil representatives from Orkney’s Secondary and Junior High Schools recently attended the Young Ambassadors Conference at Eden Court Theatre in Inverness, along with pupils from across the Highlands.
The sportscotland Young Ambassador Programme is for young people between the ages of 14 and 17. Their role is to promote sport, motivate and inspire other young people to get involved in sport in school, local sports clubs and the community.
Throughout the day the pupils attended workshops to give them ideas and help plan how they might promote and encourage sport and physical activity with their school. The Young Ambassadors were split into groups where they heard a presentation from an experienced Young Ambassador as well as an inspirational presentation from an elite athlete.
Taya Dodman from Westray Junior High School said “We got to meet some famous athletes and we enjoyed it because we got to meet other young ambassadors and got an idea of what our role is”.
The highlight of the day was meeting and getting photos taken with former British swimmer Caitlin McClatchey, Olympic finalist, former British record holder and Commonwealth Games medallist; Hammer Thrower Mark Dry, Commonwealth Games Bronze medallist and Commonwealth Games 2014 Team Scotland Mountain Biker Kerry MacPhee.
James MacLeod from Stronsay Junior High School said “We went through some team building and leadership activities and got a talk from a previous Young Ambassador and from Kerry MacPhee, multiple gold medal holder.
“We all had a very enjoyable experience, meeting new friends, and some top athletes. We will encourage other children and young people to get involved in sport over the next year and will work with lots of different people.
“Thanks to Active Schools Co-ordinators, Micheal Swanney, Cheryl Rafferty and Catherine Johnsone for taking us on the trip!”
The Young Ambassadors will now go on to work with other young ambassadors, Active Schools staff and school staff, to inspire pupils from their schools to be part of school and community sport and PE.
Seven girls from Kirkwall Grammar School, Stromness Academy and Sanday Junior High School gained their Level 4 Award in Dance Leadership (Sport Leaders UK) during the October break.
The SCQF Level 4 Award in Dance Leadership is a nationally recognised qualification that enables successful learners to share their knowledge about dance with other young people in their schools and communities.
The qualification teaches generic leadership skills such as organisation, planning, communication and teamwork through the medium of dance and takes approximately 33 guided learning hours to complete. This was delivered by a tutor from YDance Active over the course of four days.
Cheryl Rafferty, Active Schools Co-ordinator, said: “This training follows one day taster sessions that were carried out at the end of September in Kirkwall Grammar School and Stromness Academy. The girls really enjoyed the taster and it is great to see that some of them have decided to go on to become leaders.”
“There are a number of things the girls can do with the training including helping with after school clubs, planning and organising classes for other school pupils and assisting with dance classes that are currently taking place throughout Orkney, just to name a few. Although the classes and groups they are involved in is under the supervision of a mentor, the girls often have the freedom to plan lessons and organise the training themselves. These are invaluable skills that they will be able to take forward with them as they move into adulthood.”
Kelly Shearer, YDance Active Project Coordinator said: “YDance Active has been running these courses since September 2012 and the response from the participants has been overwhelming. We can see them working together, developing these skills, growing in confidence and now they will have a nationally recognised qualification which will allow them to champion dance in their local communities.”
YDance Active is part of the Active Girls programme which is funded by Sportscotland and in line with the Scottish Government’s Active Policy Framework.