We all want our children to flourish at school and the Premier League has launched a FREE national curriculum-linked initiative to help do exactly that. Premier League Primary Stars is an education based programme designed to inspire children (aged 5-11) across PE and Sport, English, Maths and PSHE (personal, social & health education).
Created to expand in-school support for teachers across Key Stages 1 and 2, #PLPrimaryStars is backed by 88 Premier League and English Football Clubs along with industry experts like Edcoms, the PSHE Association and the National Literacy Trust. The programme is all about giving children the opportunity to learn, be active and develop essential life skills.
It’s the largest community programme the Premier League has undertaken to date and it’s built around their core values. Primary Stars encourages children to be ambitious and never give up on their goals, set a great example by being inspirational, be connected by working well with others and treat people equally by being fair.
You can sign your primary school up here and if you’re quick (before 16th June) there are some amazing opportunities on offer. Like Premier League Trophy visits and Nike football kits. Or special book boxes filled with books from authors like Cressida Cowell, Frank Lampard, Julia Donaldson and James Patterson.
Teachers can just register on the Premier League Primary Stars website to access the resources. The Premier League couldn’t have made it any easier for them either as there are lesson plans, assemblies, games and exclusive video content. All easy to use and free (yes free!) to download.
Premier League Primary Stars launch
Last week I was at the Premier League Primary Stars launch event, which fittingly took place at a school near the Emirates Stadium already on the programme. Hosted by Gabby Logan, we got to hear from Richard Scudamore who is the Executive Chairman of the Premier League. He explained the reason the Premier League has launched the Primary Stars initiative, and on such a large scale, is because they can. And he’s absolutely spot on. The Premier League is available to watch in 900 million homes after all. But more importantly, the sport brings together people from all kinds of backgrounds to work as a team and thrive to succeed.
“We want to support 10,000 primary schools in England and Wales by 2019 and we hope that our first national TV advertising campaign, including star names from our clubs, will capture the imagination of parents, teachers and children and encourage them to sign-up to Premier League Primary Stars.” Richard Scudamore, Executive Chairman, Premier League.
How #PLPrimaryStars is making a difference
With the #PLPrimaryStars programme already in place at over 2,000 primary schools, it was interesting to hear first hand how it’s making a difference. Henry Commander is the Deputy Head Teacher at a primary school in North London. He spoke with great passion about the #PLPrimaryStars programme, how it’s inspiring and stimulating the children’s learning but essentially making an impact. Not just outside but in the classroom too where the free resources are resulting in the children being more eager to learn. He said even the core values stickers are going down a treat (nominated schools that register receive value packs with stickers, posters and certificates).
“What is powerful about this programme is that it is both for the teacher and the child. It is that combination of teacher input and child input that can help everybody within the community.” Henry Commander, Deputy Head Teacher.
The #PLPrimaryStars affiliation with physical literacy and multi-sports is an easy one to make. The children already involved in the programme are benefiting from fun and engaging PE activities to develop skills like balance and co-ordination along with athletics and throwing skills. PSHE is teaching children how to be resilient, positive and work as a team but that has to be more impactful when figures from sport share their own experiences. Just watch this film of Year 4 children talking about never giving up following a visit from Liverpool Ladies and England International Alex Greenwood and you’ll see what I mean.
The programme is making an impact in subjects like English and Maths too so it was great to hear from those involved. Children’s authors Cressida Cowell (‘How to Train Your Dragon’ series) and Dan Freedman (‘Jamie Johnson’ series), mathematician & Sky Sports Presenter Rachel Riley and broadcaster Gabby Logan are all associated with #PLPrimaryStars. Gabby even had 3 of her PE teachers at her wedding!
Encouraging reluctant readers to find enjoyable books
Cressida and Dan helped create the English resources which are designed to build confidence in reading, writing and speaking. We started reading to POD every day when she was just 6 months old and while she loves listening to stories, she’s reading herself now too. She knows she can be a writer and illustrator one day if she wants to – just like Cressida. Dan Freedman freely admitted he wasn’t a reader at school but that didn’t stop him pursuing his dream to become a football writer. Both highlighted the importance of finding books that are interesting to children to encourage them to read.
The #PLPrimaryStars programme is even helping with that as they’re getting a whopping 33,000 books into children’s hands. On World Book Day alone they gave away over 500 free book boxes to registered schools. Each was filled with books by brilliant authors and included posters, stickers and bookmarks too. What a superb way to encourage reluctant readers to find books they might like.
Making maths cool
Rachel Riley is a consultant in the development of the maths teaching resources. I’ll be honest maths was the subject I related to the least at school. However, I found it truly inspiring to hear Rachel talk about how the maths resources are designed to relate to children – she made maths sound so exciting! I have no doubt the activity-led resources on offer through #PLPrimaryStars will help pupils apply the skills they learn in maths to every day life.
“I’ve seen the reaction from children using the lesson plans – they are excited, interested and engaged. I think this is a fantastic programme that will undoubtedly inspire children to learn but also give teachers the tools to be creative with their lessons. Anything that excites primary school children about maths gets a gold star from me.” Rachel Riley, mathematician and Sky Sports Presenter.
Get your school involved!
If you’re a parent and you want your school to sign up for #PLPrimaryStars, make sure you do it quickly. As well as Premier League Trophy visits and Nike football kits, there are special book boxes up for grabs for schools that register before the 16th June. All teachers need to do to have access to the all the free resources is to register with Premier League Primary Stars. You can follow #PLPrimaryStars on Twitter here.
Watch the Premier League’s first ever national TV ad
Finally, if you’ve not seen it yet, do watch the Premier League’s first ever national TV ad. It’s based on the poem “Try, Try again” by TH Palmer and features Kevin De Bruyne, Gary Cahill, Eric Dier, Sadio Mané, Juan Mata, José Mourinho and Theo Walcott.
Our most ambitious community project to date – #PLPrimaryStars – is aiming to inspire the next generation…
— Premier League (@premierleague) March 31, 2017
Disclaimer: I’m working in a paid relationship with the Premier League on their #PLPrimaryStars campaign. Opinions are as always our own.