School of Sport
At Wallace High School we are proud, since our official launch as a School of Sport in November 2012, to have evolved a model that promotes inclusion and participation at a school and community level, alongside elite performance and excellence.
This has culminated in us receiving three national awards: the 2013 Sunday Mail and sportscotland School Award; and the sportscotland Gold Award in November 2015 and 2017.
Our Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport structure and our pioneering School of Sport curricular model, indeed, promote values first, and everything else second. Since the launch of School of Sport our youngsters have engaged with many high profile sporting figures, including: Andy Murray, Sir Chris Hoy, Laura Trott, Robbie Renwick, Alan Lawson, Billy Stark, Rob Harley and Finn Russell.
The BBC and Sky Sports News have also covered our commitment to values, effort and how this can lead to sporting excellence.
The model is based upon a vision that sport can be the vehicle to inspire, engage and develop the cognitive and practical abilities of the Wallace community, which encompasses a genuinely comprehensive catchment area. The school has five thriving Schools of Sport: Football (including a new girls' programme), Basketball, Rugby, Swimming and Dance. Pupils are released from traditional timetable requirements and receive specialised coaching for 3 hours per week from S1-3 as part of their personalised curriculum.
The programme currently provides this specialist experience for over 200 pupils (roughly 1/3 of our junior school). All of these specialised programmes are in addition to the 2-3 hours of quality Physical Education these pupils receive as part of their day-to-day curriculum, and can only happen with the support of all staff.
The collective nature of the School of Sport across Wallace High School is evident and themes such as Sports Nutrition, Psychology, Physiology and Exercise Science have been adopted by wider departments to facilitate inter-disciplinary learning across the curriculum, enriching the learning experiences of all pupils.
Pupils involved in the programme have their academic progress monitored very closely throughout the year and weekly study clubs ensure that work missed due to participation in the programme can be caught up with to make sure learning in other curricular areas is completed to the highest standards. Crucially, participation in the School of Sport instills a discipline and commitment to study that has demonstrably impacted on achievement. In this respect, the School of Sport is genuinely transformative in its ability to impact on a young person’s health and wellbeing, sporting ability and wider success.
This premise, that promoting physical activity and sport can be life changing, is at the heart of our initiative. The University of Edinburgh has researched the impact of the School of Sport on the wider successes of our youngsters.
Our team have presented at local and national sporting and educational conferences, including at venues such as Murrayfield. The most recent data collected shows that in S1-3 up to two-thirds of our young people are involved in an extra-curricular clubs. These clubs are organised by our PEPAS staff, wider school colleagues and community partners. Such participation can only be positive for the physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing of the young people in our community.