Q&A with Head of PE at SMC, Bryn Lockie

Posted on 25th Mar 2024 in Stewart's Melville College

Bryn Lockie joined Stewart’s Melville College as a PE Teacher in 1990. In his current role as Head of Physical Education and Sport he has been instrumental in the success of our current sporting programme. As a former Scottish International cricketer, he understands Sport at an elite level, but also strives to instil a love of sport in all our students and is extremely proud of the number of students that take part in the array of sports offered at the School.

What do you think sets our Sports provision apart from other schools? 

Sport is really embedded into our culture. Students, parents and staff all acknowledge the importance that regular sport has on our physical and mental well-being.

What is your greatest achievement? 

The number of students who regularly compete, represent the School and take part in our sports programmes. The coaching expertise and time commitment of our internal and external staff. The values and life skills that our students learn from participating in sport. Whilst we consistently achieve individual and team success at tournaments and competitions and quite rightly celebrate these it is not what we solely judge as indicators of success.

There’s so much more to our sports programme than what our parents see at games/matches. Tell us a bit more about the comprehensive nature of sport at SMC?

Sport is often perceived as what we offer in our Games programmes. However, within our PE programme we offer a variety of sports, taught by our PE specialists, across a curriculum that provides continuity from P4-S4. In addition to this we offer Certificated PE at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher Level.

How do you ensure that we cater to the diverse interests and abilities of students?

We endeavour to offer as many opportunities as possible for students to participate in a huge array of sporting activities. These may be within the Games Programme, PE Curriculum or the sport related Extra-curricular Clubs. Hopefully, all students will find something that allows them to enjoy sport at some level.  

Can you share some notable achievements or success stories of our students in sports competitions or events?

At the elite end of sport, we have numerous students who regularly gain age group International recognition across multiple sports. More recently we have had a spate of students going into professional sport and pursuing career paths. We also have a number of FPs who are currently representing their country at full International Level.  We quite rightly take a great deal of pride in these achievements, whether it is in some of our more traditional sports, or in sports that have been pursued more out with our programme.

The beauty of our School community is that it continues way after our students leave the Old College. Personal highlights are often catching up with FPs and reminiscing about their time at Stewart’s Melville College and in particular sport. Our chats often go back to sports tours we went on and I fondly remember our Rugby and Hockey tour to Argentina that George Turner was on all those years ago, a super trip to South Africa where Connor Boyle Captained the team and one of our Canadian Tours with Jamie Hodgson and his peers.

Other memorable highlights include attending the Bath Cup in London a few years ago with our winning swim team. I was simply amazed at the standard of our swimmers, led so well by Daniel Lim. A recent trip to Portugal with our golfers, who as well as being fine players, were absolute gentlemen on and off the courses. More recently I have been following the success of Finlay Pollock at Hearts Football Club, and enjoying chatting with numerous FPs on Saturday mornings whose sons are now representing the School on the sports field, as they did back in the day. This is what makes sport special and such an important part of school life at ESMS.

How does the PE department contribute to the overall physical and mental well-being of students?

One of the things the COVID-19 pandemic taught us was the importance sport plays in the physical, and more importantly, mental well-being of everybody. Our students on their return mentioned how important spending time with their peers was to them, and how much they missed that within a sporting context. We are very conscious of this within the PE Department and along with the physical and mental factors, we also address the emotional and social impacts of sport as well.

Our students have such a fantastic rapport with our coaches, tell us why that matters?  

Sport can often offer a different level of rapport between coach and pupil. The coaches have that extra time to get to know their players better as individuals and vice versa as it is very much a two-way street. This rapport often evolves into mutual respect and more importantly trust. Two extremely powerful emotions that can help you to achieve great things.   

Do you have a personal motto?  

Always make time for your friends.

Who is your sporting hero?  

Phil Bennett.

What is the one thing you hope to instil in every student by the time they leave? 

The traits to be a good person.

What is the best bit of your job? 

Seeing students enjoy sport.

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