PL Stars Making a Difference at Forest Academy

Forest Academy Assistant Headteacher Nick Peace has hailed the ‘positive impact’ that the Premier League Primary Stars programme has made in his school.

Reds in the Community have been delivering the initiative at the Primary school for two months and the benefits are already being seen.

Premier League Primary Stars is a programme which uses the appeal of the Premier League and professional football clubs to inspire children to learn, be active and develop life skills.

Available for children aged 5-11 in all local primary schools, it connects learning to the real world of sport, helping teachers to enthuse pupils when tackling challenging PSHE topics such as resilience, diversity, self-esteem and fair play.

Nick spoke about the influence the programme has had on both the pupils and the teachers in his school.

He said: “I think the main thing that they’ve helped them with is resilience. In terms of when they’ve been doing in some of the activities and they’ve been falling over, before where they might have been quite upset, because they’ve been doing it quite a lot and a range of activities and the way it’s done – they’ve just been picking themselves up and dusting themselves off and getting on with it. That’s been really great to see. There’s getting hurt and being resilient with it but then also starting again and having another go with an activity. It’s been really good.

“I’m an experienced teacher but we’ve got an NQT (Newly Qualified Teacher) and an RQT (Recently Qualified Teacher) on our phase. The bank of activities for warm-ups, cool-downs, what we do in different sports and lessons has really helped with that. They’ve been sharing a lot of things with us. In terms of behaviour management and expectations of the kids, it’s fitted really well with the school’s expectations.”

During the initiative, RITC staff deliver PE, English, Maths and PSHE lessons to the pupils, hoping to develop attributes which will benefit them both in and out of school.

Nick believes that the initiative has been a success in using sport to help develop the children in all areas of their studies.

He added: “Using the workshops and things like that has helped a lot. The kids have been thinking about how they can use attitudes in sport and PE to move into other areas of their life. Reflecting on other things including Maths and social stuff with the PSHE workshop was really helpful.

“It’s been great. The PE sessions, the workshops and also the after-school clubs and how they’ve involved the other kids from different phases – it’s been a real positive impact, not just on sport and physical activities but also transferring these skills into the classroom as well.”

Senior Community Coach James Cooke delivers the Stars programme on a weekly basis at Forest Academy and explained how both the pupils and teachers have developed in a short space of time.

He said: “The kids have come a long way from when we first started. Some kids didn’t enjoy PE. When I come in now they say ‘James I love PE and I can’t wait to see you next week.’ It’s really rewarding. Confidence-wise they’ve come a long way, they’re now going into sessions with a smile on their face. Sporting-wise it’s fantastic. They’re now showing improvement with spatial awareness. Rather than taking a back seat, it’s been great to see the teachers getting involved.”

There are many benefits of undertaking the Premier League Primary Stars programme with Reds in the Community including player visits and free Barnsley FC tickets.

If you are interested in finding out more then contact [email protected] or ring 01226 211333.