Premier League Primary Stars | Rachael’s Story

The 2017/18 academic year has seen Penistone St Johns Primary School’s Rachael Schofield’s teaching transformed by the Premier League Primary Stars programme.

Rachael teaches all of the Key Stage Two children in her school, something which brings with it a number of challenges.

Whilst teaching a wide variety of sports from the school curriculum, her sessions have to be adapted in order to engage pupils of all ages and abilities.

Rachael’s background comes in dance and gymnastics but she has grown in confidence teaching across the PE curriculum.

And she was full of praise for Primary Stars and Reds in the Community for developing her teaching ability.

“I would definitely recommend the Stars programme,” said Rachael.  “I found it really helpful. We’ve had lots of different coaches in so that’s been really helpful to take different things from. Whenever I’ve had any questions they’ve always been there to help and support me. Towards the end of the programme, I’ve delivered some of the sessions alongside the coaches which has been really good because they’ve been able to give me pointers and they’ve been there for support.

“My specialism is dance and gymnastics. To have someone who is a specialist in football come in has given me some good ideas. I think it’s developed my teaching really well. I teach PE across the curriculum and various different subjects. Particularly the differentiation to challenge children in different ways has been really good.”

Sports Development Officer Kieron Campbell is the Reds in the Community lead on the Primary Stars programme.

Having seen Rachael’s development from a dance and gym specialist to an all-round confident PE teacher, Kieron explained how pivotal the initiative has been for the Penistone teacher.

Kieron said: “Like a lot of PE teachers, Rachael’s experience mainly comes from a select couple of sports. In her case, those sports are dance and gymnastics. The Stars programme has allowed her to gain a greater understanding of how to teach a number of different sports to a group of mixed ability. Rachael’s confidence has grown astonishingly and the children are engaging with her sessions more and more. Although Reds in the Community and the Stars programme use football, it develops the skills to teach a variety of different activities. Rachael has applied the knowledge she has gained to teach other areas of PE, which shows how successful the programme has been at Penistone St Johns.”

Not only have Reds in the Community supported Rachael throughout the Primary Stars programme, they will continue to help her moving forward as she continues to develop as a PE teacher.

Rachael expressed her gratitude at being able to stay in touch with Kieron and RITC in the future, alongside having access to valuable resources such as the Primary Stars website.

“Obviously I’ve been made aware of the Primary Stars Website,” she added. “It’s something that I didn’t know about before. That’s something that I’ll be able to use a lot in the future. I’ve been told by Kieron that we’ll be able to keep in contact and have that support there in the future as well so that’s really good to know. That makes me feel a little bit more positive about things and a bit more secure.”

Reds in the Community coach Gareth Cooke delivers the Primary Stars programme on a daily basis across the borough of Barnsley.

Having witnessed Rachael’s development first hand, Gareth gave an insight into what Stars has enabled her to achieve.

“Rachael has grown in confidence throughout the full programme,” said Gareth. “She’s able to confidently deliver a session now, in terms of PE. She’s also learnt to differentiate her sessions so every child is involved. She’s planning the sessions and putting them into practice and planning for the different needs of the children.”