The power of football to inspire

Premier League Primary Stars, which has recently celebrated its first birthday, is one example of how the Premier League and its clubs use the power of football to inspire young people to be active, learn, and gain vital life skills

The Premier League produces some of the most competitive and compelling football in the world, watched in more than 1 billion homes across 189 countries. The Premier League and its clubs use the power of the competition to inspire fans, communities and partners in the UK and across the world.

Premier League Primary Stars is one example of how the Premier League and its clubs uses the power of football to inspire young people. Launched last year, Premier League Primary Stars is a curriculum-linked education programme designed to inspire children to learn, be active and develop important life skills through free teaching resources and support from 101 Premier League and professional football clubs.

The programme aimed to engage 10,000 primary schools by 2019 but has already exceeded that target by reaching 15,000 schools within its first year.

Available to every primary school in England and Wales, teaching materials cover subjects from English and Maths to teamwork and PE, with free to download activity ideas, worksheets, lesson plans, fun assemblies, interactive games and exclusive videos. Learning is connected to the real world of sport to enthuse pupils when tackling challenging PSHE topics such as resilience, diversity, self-esteem and fair-play.

Free resources for school

The PSHE digital resources are rooted in sport to educate around key values including equality, resilience, teamwork, and fair play and have achieved the PSHE Association Quality Mark. Meanwhile, PE resources focus on multi-sport activities, with additional club support and digital resources giving primary school teachers the tools to improve confidence and skills in teaching multisport PE for girls and boys.

One of the most popular resources has been Maths Attax. Created with programme supporter Topps, the resource uses specially designed Match Attax cards to help pupils to effectively learn about equations and algebra by assessing players’ strengths and weaknesses.

Leila Harris, Senior Leader at Parkfield Primary in Birmingham, praised the Maths Attax resources, saying, “these resources provide lessons ideas that are engaging, appealing, creative and open‑ended. The materials place mathematical concepts in a meaningful, real-life context and the football theme is a great way to keep pupils motivated.”

Premier League Writing Stars

As part of its one-year anniversary celebrations, the Premier League recently launched its first ever poetry book. Try, Try Again collated the winning entries of E
F the hugely successful Premier League Writing Stars competition, which asked pupils to submit their poems on the theme of resilience.

With support from the National Literacy Trust, the competition received more than 25,000 entries – and it even inspired famous faces such as Rachel Riley, Alan Shearer and Ben Shephard to get their creative juices flowing with their own resilience poems.

Speaking at the book launch, the Premier League’s executive chairman Richard Scudamore said: “The response to the Writing Stars competition is just one example of the effect the programme has to capture the imagination of thousands of children. We were overwhelmed by the volume and standard of entries.”

Writing Stars judge Frank Lampard added: “It’s been a great experience for me to read poems of such a high standard. It’s been a fantastic competition and we have seen a lot of quality.”

Kit and equipment scheme

Free football kit and equipment is also made available on an annual basis through the Premier League Primary Stars Kit & Equipment Scheme. Run in partnership with Nike and delivered by the Football Foundation, the Kit & Equipment Scheme offers the opportunity for schools to receive free resources and football kit that can be used for active learning sessions, PE lessons and by school sports teams.

Last year more than 3,700 kit and equipment packs were donated. Applications are closed for now, but keep your eyes on PLPrimaryStars.com for the next opportunity.

One recipient of the kit has been Manorfield Primary School in Tower Hamlets, London. Year 6 teacher Adam Eastick explained that the kit has had a positive impact on his pupils: “They walk a bit taller when they wear it. It’s fantastic to see the Premier League provide these kits.”

Assistant headteacher Frank Harrowell added, “A lot of school football kit doesn’t last. If we invest in rubbish materials, you tend to get rubbish outcomes. But this is high quality gear, and we’ve seen high quality outcomes. For these kids, having that high quality kit makes the world of difference.”

Year 6 pupil Tanzil explained that, “it means so much to wear this Nike kit with ‘Premier League’ on it, just like an Arsenal player! It’s an opportunity you don’t get every day and it’s a big thing for our whole class and the football team. It inspires us to do more and be better.”

Manorfield Primary has also been inspired by Primary Stars to use football as a platform for PSHE, literacy and more. The school has already seen a positive impact, as Frank Harrowell explained: “We made book purchases that were inspired by the ideas behind Primary Stars and you can see the impact in class and in the playground. We’re now seeing an upward trend in both reading and writing. Happy kids means they’re working hard, they want to be at school and they want to learn.”

As Tanzil puts it: “Football inspires us – it’s about coming together, meeting new people, enjoying life, having fun. It’s not always about winning, it’s about pride in who you play for and what you do.”

What’s next for Primary Stars

As the summer holidays approach, Primary Stars has also launched new educational activities for families to complement the free school resources.

Including fun Maths and English activities and the interactive digital game ‘Solve, Shoot, Score’, the resources are specially designed to keep young people’s minds and bodies active during the holidays.

The Premier League and BBC have also teamed up to get the nation’s primary school children moving with Super Movers. The initiative intends to inspire children to become more active throughout their school day and enhance their learning. Teacher content includes a range of learning activities, fun follow-along videos and games to get the whole family more active in their living rooms.

Get involved

Visit www.plprimarystars.com to find out how your school can be involved with Premier League Primary Stars and for the latest exciting curriculum-linked resources across Maths, English, PE and PSHE

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