Middlesbrough Football player George Friend visits Springfield Academy

Education Village

Wednesday, 7th June 2017

Middlesbrough Football player George Friend visits Springfield Academy

PRIMARY pupils made a new friend after a top flight defender returned to the classroom

PRIMARY pupils have made a new friend after a top flight defender returned to the classroom to help inspire students in their studies.

Middlesbrough Football player George Friend visited Springfield Academy, Darlington, as part of the Premier League’s new national education programme Primary Stars.

The programme, which uses the appeal of the Premier League and professional football clubs to inspire children to learn, be active and develop important life skills, saw the Championship defender join in with a Year 5 PE lesson, led by MFC Foundation coach Gary Walton, helping pupils to improve their footballing skills.

“This is the first school that I have visited as part of the Premier League’s Primary Stars Programme,” said George. “Working with kids is always fun and the pupils here have been so enthusiastic.

“Premier Stars is a fantastic concept and I’m really happy to have been asked to be a part of it.”

Premier League Primary Stars offers free downloadable resources for teachers across Key Stages 1 and 2 in English, Maths, PE and PSHE with materials developed in partnership with education organisations including the National Literacy Trust and the PSHE Association.

Countdown TV presenter and mathematician Rachel Riley and children’s authors Cressida Cowell and Dan Freedman also helped to create the teaching resources using real life sport examples which add to the existing support professional football clubs provide to primary schools within their local communities.

Principal Angela Henderson said: “All staff and pupils were really excited to have a professional footballer come into school, so much so that we decided to name our school The George Friend Academy for the day.

“We have worked with the MFC Foundation for a number of years which allows our school to take part in community events and football tournaments where pupils get the chance to play competitively against other teams across Teesside.

“When I was asked if we would like to be involved in the Primary Stars programme, I jumped at the chance and the children have loved it especially meeting George, getting a new Primary Stars training kit and receiving a new box of books for our library.”

Middlesbrough is one of 88 Football League and National League clubs in England and Wales which provides in-school support through Premier League Primary Stars.

Primary stars coordinator at MFC Foundation Alan Cawthorne, added: “This is the first school in Darlington that we have visited to deliver the programme and it is one of 7,000 schools across the whole country to have already signed up for the scheme.”

“This is the Premier League’s most ambitious community programme to date and we aim to support 10,000 primary schools by 2019.”