SHOOTING hoops has helped bounce Queen Anne High School to top of the podium and claim a golden national accolade.

Last Tuesday, they were recognised for their commitment to delivering extra-curricular sport when they were presented with a sportscotland Gold School Sport Award.

A national, lottery-funded initiative, the governing body's school sport award scheme is designed to encourage schools to improve physical education and sport, and encourage sporting links between them and their local communities.

There are three levels of award – bronze, silver and gold – that can be attained, and the programme aims to put young people at the forefront of decision-making, while also encouraging them to increase opportunities and engagement in PE and school sport, as well as putting it at the heart of planning, practice and ethos.

To achieve a bronze or silver sportscotland award, schools self-assess their current practice, but to gain gold, an extensive external assessment is also carried out by an independent panel of experts.

Queen Anne were found to have demonstrated a real commitment to creating opportunities for everyone through initiatives like disability sport sessions for the ISA unit, targeted provision for girls not engaged in sport through judo classes, and boxing to tackle behavioural issues.

A school of basketball has also been established in partnership with Dunfermline Reign Basketball Club, while the extra-curricular timetable now offers 16 different sports, which has seen participation levels rise by 10 per cent during the last year.

PE teacher Conor Little said: "It's an honour to be awarded the sportscotland Gold School Sport Award. Our staff work incredibly hard to deliver an extra-curricular programme, young leadership programme and school-to-club pathway in partnership with Active Schools co-ordinators Callum Imray and Tegan Kazeze.

"We believe that physical education, physical activity and sport are important factors in the school curriculum and we offer a variety of national qualifications in addition to our school of basketball programme."

Queen Anne are among 284 schools – including Crossgates and North Queensferry primaries – across the country to have been presented with the gold award, and Councillor Fay Sinclair, convener of Fife Council's education and children's services committee, added: "The partnerships that schools have with our Active Schools team and sportscotland is allowing our young people the opportunity to build competence and confidence through increased opportunities to be more active, more often.

"This is a fantastic accolade for Queen Anne High School. I'm sure that the achievements here will also be inspiration for other high schools to follow suit in delivering innovative ways to improve access to physical activity and sport."

Stewart Harris, sportscotland chief executive, added: "Congratulations to all the staff and pupils at Queen Anne High School – they should be extremely proud of this fantastic achievement. Not only have they put physical education and sport at the heart of their school and local community, but they have managed to do so in a way that encourages all pupils to engage in physical activity whilst having fun at the same time."