Park View Primary is going for gold
School takes active role ... on and off the sports field
When a primary school which opened less than five years ago starts picking up awards, then staff, pupils and the wider school community are clearly doing something right.
Park View Primary in Halfway won in two categories at the recent Cambuslang and Rutherglen Sports Council Awards. Not only was the school named sporting primary school of the year, principal teacher Campbell McKissock was awarded volunteer of the year.
This follows a glowing report from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education (HMIe) that highlighted the school “very successfully” involving parents, children and partners in self-evaluation and school improvement.
Headteacher Maria Spiers is proud of the staff teamwork that has created the explosion of extra curricular activities at the school, and she spoke highly of Mr McKissock’s key role in that.
“I am delighted the efforts of staff and pupils have been recognised in this way. Campbell’s award is well deserved, we are very proud of him,” she said. “He has always gone above and beyond the call and led by example.
“Thanks to the efforts of Campbell and the rest of our staff we can provide pupils with a wide range of sports, dance and other clubs.
“It is not just teachers who are involved, teaching assistants and our office staff play a vital role too.”
Both Mrs Spiers and Mr McKissock have been at the school since it opened in 2013, with a roll of 51 pupils, to alleviate pressure on Hallside Primary.
The school roll is now 181 and staffing levels have grown with pupil numbers.
Sport has been a key part of the school ethos since its foundation, with a wide variety on offer including football, volleyball, netball, karate, swimming and golf.
Each teacher runs at least one extra curricular club, and many are involved in more than one. They have taken on the additional hours voluntarily as part of a collegiate agreement and play an active part in other activities, such as a recent fundraiser for Marie Curie.
Mr McKissock, a science and sports specialist, said that there is a relatively even split between boys and girls taking part in the sports club and that through health and well-being education, kids know the positive impact of staying fit and healthy, and understand the need to balance positive active activities, such as sports, with beneficial passive ones like reading.
All pupils receive three periods of PE a week, more than the recommended two hours, and youngsters are generally very positive about that,
Mr McKissock added: “When pupils realise they are going to get gym that day, most get very excited. There’s always one or two less keen but we try to find out how to get them involved through the sports committee. This is made up of kids who ask what sports their fellow pupils would like to try.
“When randomly polled, I would say more than 90 per cent enjoy PE.”
Mrs Spiers confirmed another recent well-received activity has been dance.
A member of staff even introduced a lunchtime club to finish preparing a group to perform at Rutherglen Town Hall.
Mr McKissock is very modest about his own contributions, seeing the additional hours and effort as “all part of the job” even though he always goes the extra mile and then some, according to Mrs Spiers.
The sporty dad-of-two gave up three mornings a week for seven weeks to run Wake Up, Shake Up – an informal morning club he intends to bring back.
He said: “It started last session. We would open the door of the gym hall 10 minutes before the morning bell and I would do circuits with the pupils.
“It proved popular to get the kids moving in the morning but was impacted by the bad weather. I aim to start it again.”
Mrs Spiers spoke highly of the help from Stonelaw High in developing the sports programme and on planning and equipment. Mr McKissock also liaises with the high school and is involved in the Active School programme and many transition sports festivals to help pupils in the area prepare for secondary school.
All Park View staff have attended and enjoyed the Cambuslang and Rutherglen Sports Council Awards for the past two years. While the school may not have specific plans to mark its fifth year but, having achieved the Sportscotland school of sport silver award last year, the school community now has it sights set on gold.
Trophy time Principal teacher Campbell McKissock with Park View pupils and the schools’ two Cambuslang and Rutherglen Sports Council Awards
Fundraisers Pupils, parents and teachers are active in other ways too, such as at the Great Daffodil Appeal 2018 for Marie Curie