The Learning Through Sport curriculum was developed using existing best practice from other successful initiatives such as the F.A., “Playing for Success” program and the Arsenal, “Double Club”, combined with the existing expertise of our own William Edwards School staff.
The main aims of Learning through Sport are: improving the literacy skills of targeted Year 8 students and improving the students’ attendance, punctuality and positive behaviour. In Year 9, the students follow an additional pathway which supports the development of their leadership and coaching skills in sport while continuing with the other established aims of the programme. In recent years we have been extremely proud to have received National recognition from our Athlete Mentors for the Sky Sports Living for Sport Project of the Year Award. We have been privileged to work closely with England Ladies Footballer Casey Stoney, Freestyle Skier and Team GB Winter Olympian Ellie Koyander, British Judo Champion and Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist Theo Spalding McIntosh and Team GB Olympic High Jumper Brendan Reilly.
The program uses contextualised learning combined with practically-based football sessions, trips and visits and a number of ongoing competitions. Students follow schemes of work that closely match those of the mainstream English classes but with the content themed around sport and topical sporting events and news. Practical football sessions are delivered by coaches from Chelsea F.C. as a reward for good effort and progress.
Trips and visits to sporting locations and facilities take place throughout the program and are used as a basis for some of the literacy work. Students are given their own identity as a group by being provided with branded Learning through Sport kit and tracksuit with our own specially designed logo. This becomes their school uniform for the 1 day a week when they are taking part in the project.
Learning through Sport has been running at William Edwards School since 2012 with a new cohort of students starting every September. Since the programme’s inception, all the students who have been involved have shown significant progress in English and literacy and significant improvements in attendance and positive behaviour. In 2016, the first cohort of Learning through Sport students took their GCSE exams. These students all achieved tremendous results, not only gaining examination results that were higher than their target grades using all the key progress measures, but also out-performing other students in their year group. A similar trend has continued since then.
New strands of Learning through Sport, following a similar format, have been developed and successfully piloted for Numeracy and Modern Foreign Languages. These will continue to be embedded into the curriculum and developed alongside new models for Year 4 and 5 students. We are extremely excited to be continuing to work with the William Edwards feeder Primary Schools within the South West Essex Community Education Trust and expanding the Learning through Sport Program to impact on a larger number of students. As well as increasing the number of Primary School students impacted by the program, there are now clear development plans in place to improve the current facilities and resources and to have an impact on Key Stage 3 and 4 students across the Trust. Part of this development will include students who have been through the Learning through Sport Program working with the younger students in the role of a coach and using the skills that they developed during the program.
For any further information about the Learning through Sport programme, please contact the course leader Mr M Bowden on email@example.com