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Sport - World Cup here we come

Mintlaw Academy has kept up its remarkable run of success in girls' football, winning the Scottish Senior Girls' Shield for the fifth time in a row earlier this month.

Mintlaw Academy has kept up its remarkable run of success in girls' football, winning the Scottish Senior Girls' Shield for the fifth time in a row earlier this month.

Mintlaw Academy has kept up its remarkable run of success in girls' football, winning the Scottish Senior Girls' Shield for the fifth time in a row earlier this month.

A tense final against East Kilbride's Calderglen High ended 1-1 at Strathmore Park in Forfar, but the team from rural Aberdeenshire won a penalty shoot-out 4-1. The result meant the school had won a treble for five successive years, having also won the Aberdeenshire Cup and retained the title of North of Scotland champions.

The extraordinary success of Mintlaw Academy, in a town with fewer than 3,000 residents, was explained in The TESS last year (July 2). Staff pointed to small feeder primaries which had to include girls in football, the successful Buchan Girls club for whom many pupils have played, and enlightened coaching which concentrates on skills, rather than "macho shouting".

When the school's HMIE report was published last year, three examples of good practice got a special mention: use of digital exams to support learners; the contribution of an artist-in-residence; and achievement through girls' football.

Several ex-pupils have gone on to greater football fame. Kim Little is a Scotland international and a player for Arsenal Ladies (pictured).

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