Students and staff at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy are celebrating after scoring a national School Games Gold Mark Award.

The Government-led award scheme recognises and rewards schools that have consistently demonstrated engagement in school games against a national benchmark.

Facilitated by the Youth Sports Trust, it celebrates keeping young people active, and is awarded to schools that can show both strength and breadth of sports activities provided and the actual uptake by students themselves.

To be awarded a mark a school must demonstrate that a large proportion of students is engaged in sporting activity, that a wide range of sports is played and that the school takes part in competitions.

Successful schools also show that students are involved in leadership activities, and that the schools have links with local sports clubs.

The academy’s PE department ran a total of 204 fixtures and events this academic year, and the school runs 93 clubs including dodgeball, mixed hockey, athletics, football and netball.

Head of PE Charlie I'Anson said students and staff alike were thrilled to get the gold award.

“We believe that sport is a powerful tool in introducing young people to new experiences, whether that’s playing a new sport or developing leadership skills. It helps build confidence, teamwork and commitment to improvement through hard work.

“I want to thank all my hardworking colleagues for going above and beyond in their mission to introduce sport into as many young people’s lives as possible, and we’re hugely impressed by our students, who have put in so much effort on the field and off to help us get this Gold award.”

Headteacher Anita Ellis said she and her colleagues were very proud of the staff and students who have helped to win the award.

“It’s an accolade to be given a School Games Mark, as it involves so much dedication from staff who give their free time to the competitions and clubs, as well as enthusiasm and commitment from the students themselves,” she said.

“But to get a gold award is genuinely fantastic. We are so proud of all the hard work that has gone into this year, and I’m very pleased that the School Games scheme enables us to encourage young people who may never have been interested in sport find something that they enjoy and excites them. We believe that everyone has a talent – they just sometimes need support to discover what that talent is.”