THEY are the 'school of the year' for sports.

Pupils and teachers at Valentine Primary School are celebrating their achievement after winning one of the top accolades at the Energise Me awards 2018.

Commended for the wide range of sports activities run by leaders at the school judges said: "The school participates in the Golden Mile to boost pupils’ activity levels during the school day.

"In September, it had 33 Year 5 pupils trained to be Play Leaders so they could lead activities with younger children in the school. The school also runs a variety of after school clubs for children, as well as level 2 competitions via the school games calendar. They give as many pupils as possible the opportunity to represent the school, particularly those who are disengaged."

But keeping the 740 children at Southampton's biggest primary school active is a key part of head teacher Liz Filer's strategy - and she has two full time PE teachers employed on her staff.

PE teacher Martin Davies said: "Our year five 33 play makers have ahd formal training and they organise physical activities for the younger ones. It helps the older children develop empathy and leadership skills. It also helps the younger children transition.

"We have a national ice hockey coach on our staff, as well as teachers who do bouldering and the park run every Saturday - so we make sure we share the activities with the children to encourage them to be active too.

"We want them to be lifelong lovers of physical activity."