A year ago, Premier League Primary Stars was launched. It is an education programme accessible for all schools throughout England and Wales. They hoped to engage 10,000 schools by 2019 but the programme has been more successful than anyone could have hoped for. In 12 months, 15,442 schools have become involved, working alongside 101 professional football clubs. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Celebrating the Premier League Primary Stars
On Thursday night, I joined some fabulous bloggers at an event to celebrate the achievements of Premier League Primary Stars. I hadn’t heard much about the programme before, and as far as I’m aware the girls’ school isn’t involved. So, it was a real eye opener to hear all the incredible opportunities children are getting across the country. I’ll certainly be chatting to the girls’ school about it to see if I can persuade them to take part.
Since the scheme launched this time last year, the progress they’ve made has been phenomenal. It’s not just the classroom stuff either. Children have had opportunities that they wouldn’t even have dreamed of a year ago. The Premier League Trophy has visited 55 schools, over 1000 schools have competed in the Premier League Primary Stars football tournament and 8732 kit and equipment packs have been given out. Better still, children have been hobnobbing with their favourite footballers, and they couldn’t be happier. I love this video of the ‘best lesson ever’. The look on those children’s faces is priceless.
— Premier League (@premierleague) April 20, 2018
Premier League Writing Stars competition
Last October, the scheme launched a competition called Premier League Writing Stars. It was part of the literary resources package provided by Primary Stars and challenged children to write a poem about resilience. Much to the surprise of everyone involved – particularly the judges – there were 25,200 entries. That’s over 25,000 poems written by children aged between five and eleven years old. And now, the best poems have been published in an exclusive book.
Alongside the children’s poems, there are poems written by others involved in the programme including Alan Shearer and Ben Shephard. While we were at the event yesterday, the two winning poems were read to us. I was utterly blown away by how good they were and would highly recommend getting hold of a copy of the book.
Tips for encouraging learning from Children’s Laureate Lauren Child
During the event on Thursday, I was lucky enough to spend some time chatting to Children’s Laureate Lauren Child. Lauren is also the author of the Charlie and Lola books that my children adore. As well as kindly signing a book for the girls (ALL the mum brownie points), Lauren gave me some tips on encouraging learning.
When Lauren was speaking on stage, I was fascinated by her take on how different subjects link together. She gave the example of children realising that they are good at writing when encouraged to write about football. But it made me think about the link between literacy and Maths.
Libby is a very keen reader and loves to write. But when it comes to maths, she struggles. Lauren mentioned to me her series of Ruby Redfort books. These are aimed at older children so no good to us yet, but they contain maths codes for the children to crack while they read. I absolutely love this idea and look forward to the girls being old enough for them. Particularly after the success of the science toy we reviewed recently.
We chatted about the value of a good teacher, and someone who makes children see the link between maths and real life. Viewing it as exciting rather than a chore. Libby has, and has always had, fabulous teachers but I think we need to keep looking for that spark to make maths exciting. Which brought my mind back around to the Premier League Primary Stars programme. Libby loves sport and it seems like the natural way for her to learn maths.
They also provide resources for home learning, including a maths game called Solve, Shoot, Score. I’ll definitely be having a go at this with Libby, maybe it will spark her interest in numbers.
The future of Premier League Primary Stars
I was fascinated to listen to Richard Scudamore’s vision for the programme. Having absolutely smashed all targets for 2018, he is looking to the future with even grander plans. They have introduced resources for families as well as their online resources for schools. Another aim is to reach the remaining 5000 schools that haven’t yet engaged with the programme. I sincerely hope that the girls’ school will soon be getting involved.
In partnership with the BBC, the Premier League have also developed the Super Movers campaign. This offers free resources to schools to help them get children active throughout the day. There are some pretty big names involved in that campaign too. The Premier League Primary Stars event was so enlightening and I can’t wait to see what the next year brings.