What is Active Schools?
Aberdeenshire Active Schools
Active Schools is a term given to all schools in Scotland that provide pupils with sufficient opportunities to get active to the extent that it makes a positive contribution to their health.
The Aberdeenshire Active Schools Team are responsible for putting in place and driving forward a range of planned activities in both school and community settings to help encourage children and young people’s participation in physical activity and sport.
Active Schools is a key element in the Scottish Government's drive to get more Scots more active; a commitment outlined in the national physical activity strategy, "Let's Make Scotland More Active".
The fundamental aim of the Active Schools network is to offer school-aged children the motivation and opportunities to adopt active and healthy lifestyles. These opportunities are available before, during and after school, as well as in the wider community. But Active Schools is more than just getting school-aged children to take part in formal sport and exercise. Active Schools also aims to introduce more physical activity into their daily lives through active travel, play and dance. As such, the physical activity and sport element of Active Schools links closely with a number of other key government initiatives - Health Promoting Schools and Safer Routes to Schools, to name just two - and is supported by a broad range of partners.
Active Schools also impacts on a number of other key policies and initiatives, such as the Curriculum for Excellence, which has an important role to play in promoting the health and well being of children and young people and all of those in the educational communities to which they belong.
The role of an Active Schools Coordinator (ASC) is to support current and develop new, high quality opportunities for school pupils to participate in regular, frequent, safe and fun physical activity (incorporating sport, play, health and active travel).
The ASC works to develop the capacity of the community by delivering training and workshops, or offer advice and support in relation to grants, funding applications, coaching qualifications, links to national governing bodies and much more.
Active Schools Coordinators work with a range of partners such as sports development, physical education, clubs, school travel coordinator, road safety officers, community education and NHS Grampian.
In seeking to become an "Active School", the school should:
- Provide quality, safe and fun physical activity opportunities, including sport, both within the formal and informal curriculum
- Provide adequate resources and funding for physical activity and sport
- Actively promote positive attitudes towards participation in physical activity with pupils, teachers and families
- Ensure physical activity and sport is referenced within the School Development plan
- Encourage and support pupils to reach their full potential through physical activity, sport and physical education.
A key challenge to Active Schools will be to integrate the programme into secondary schools and to gain support and commitment to meet the objectives of Sportscotland. A view is given here from Danny Murphy, a rector from Clackmannanshire Council on how Active Schools has supported the secondary schools in his area.
Present Active School staff, have been very successful with assisting in applying for a number of additional grants and sponsorship. A number have been successful with applying for 2014 Communities Fund monies to help develop a range of physical activity opportunities for children across Aberdeenshire.
10 years of Active Schools
The Active Schools Network recently celebrated 10 years of providing more and higher quality opportunities for children and young people across Scotland to get involved in sport.
To look back over those 10 years and get a feel for the impact the programme has had on children and adults across Scotland click on the video below.
Aberdeenshire Council in partnership with Sportscotland have invested in Active Schools through to 2019. This has allowed a staff structure to be developed that means all 17 networks have the benefit of an Active Schools Coordinator in post.
Active Schools Aberdeenshire is split into three areas with lead coordinators managing each of these areas
North - Banff, Fraserburgh, Peterhead, Mintlaw, Ellon, Turriff
Central - Alford, Huntly, Inverurie, Kemnay, Oldmeldrum
South - Mearns, Mackie, Portlethen, Banchory, Aboyne
To find who the Active Schools Coordinator in your area is go to the Active Schools in Your Area link.
Active Schools Annual Report 2015-16
Active Schools Annual Report 2015-16 (pdf 1.21 MB)
We have the highest regard for the service provided by Active Schools. Over the past few years the children have benefited from having access to a range of active options that were provided with support and input from our Active Schools Coordinator.
Staff value the input from the service and it has become an essential part of our structure to deliver active and positive learning experiences to our school community.
David Smith, St Cyrus School Headteacher.