The Scottish Football Association launches “Learning Through Football” initiative

Scotland head coach Steve Clarke and penalty-save hero David Marshall have given their backing to a new initiative which will enable thousands of children across the country to add Scotland’s UEFA EURO 2020 adventure to their studies. Learning Through Football, a classroom-based teaching resource, was launched at Miller Primary School in Castlemilk and is designed to use the power of football to improve literacy and numeracy.

The programme has been developed in line with the Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) and includes more than 40 activities centred around the UEFA European Championship for teachers to download and deliver after the Christmas holidays.

Building on the excitement of the Scotland Men’s National Team qualification for the first major tournament in 22 years, Learning Through Football will launch in Glasgow – with Hampden Park one of 12 host city venues for the 60th anniversary of the UEFA European Championship – and will be rolled-out across the country as excitement builds.

Pupils taking part will get an exclusive insight into the world of the Scotland National Team and the broader football industry, tailored to literacy and numeracy outcomes: from the stats behind the successes of captain Andy Robertson and goalkeeping hero David Marshall; presenting like STV’s Sheelagh MacLaren; to trying-out the art of commentary made famous by BBC Scotland’s Liam McLeod and Sky Sports’ Ian Crocker.

Steve Clarke, Scotland Head Coach: “It is important that football, as our national sport, is back on the national curriculum and it’s encouraging that the whole country can share in what the Scotland National Team has achieved, especially the next generation of young people we want to inspire. Whether it’s playing the game or being involved in the many jobs around football, Learning Through Football is a great initiative that will allow young people to learn all about the EUROS in anticipation of Scotland taking part and especially with Hampden Park being one of the host venues.”

David Marshall, Scotland goalkeeper: “It’s great to see that qualifying for a major tournament is already having a positive influence on young people through the school curriculum. Learning Through Football is a terrific initiative and one I wished was available in the classroom when I was that age.

“In a way it makes you realise the importance of what we have achieved and hopefully it inspires kids across the country to interact with football in a way that will help their education but also their careers with the possibilities that now exist in and around the game.”

Based on the established ‘inter-disciplinary learning’ model, the tool has been developed in conjunction with Glasgow’s Physical Education, Physical Activity and School Sport (PEPASS) team and Glasgow City Council Education Services.

Miller Primary School in Glasgow is one of the schools already using the tool in class, with pupils trying a range of new activities from designing football strips to making their own national anthem for the tournament. Two pupils have also re-enacted the Head Coach’s post-match interview after Scotland qualified in a dramatic penalty shootout against Serbia in Belgrade.

Jacqueline Church, Principal Teacher at Miller Primary School: “We’ve thoroughly enjoyed bringing the Learning Through Football tool into the classroom. Everyone loves their football at Miller Primary and the activities are really flexible and allow the children to explore their own interests in the sports industry. Not only are the assignments fun and interesting, but the children are able apply a range of skills to meaningful life contexts, boosting their confidence and leadership skills.

“By exploring jobs within the industry, they are also recognising the teamwork, communication and perseverance skills we need to work in any job, which sets them in good stead for the future.”

David Weir, PE Lead Officer at PEPASS, said: “It’s been a pleasure working with the UEFA EURO 2020 Glasgow team and the Scottish FA over the past couple of years to develop this extremely valuable teaching and learning tool.

“The commitment to detail and desire to create an educational resource which not only acknowledges and references many aspects of Curriculum for Excellence but specifically delivers a relevant, coherent, challenging, enjoyable and lasting tool for all, was particularly appealing.

“We will all be celebrating when Scotland run onto the pitch for their first game at Hampden, none more so than our young people, and this tool will really help them feel part of it.”

The tool is accessed through a newly launched area of the UEFA EURO 2020 website, which will give primary and secondary teachers easy access to the resources needed to deliver in schools.

This new digital format of the inter-disciplinary learning tool allows teachers to see the cross-curricular links between project ideas, showing the wealth of learning areas that football can be part of. Alongside learning topics, there are a number of projects and assignments aligned to Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) learning outcomes in literacy, expressive arts, health and wellbeing, maths and numeracy, science, social studies and technologies.

Each curriculum area can be downloaded as a handy summary, as well as the whole snapshot of the curriculum and related project ideas. There is a guidance note for further information.

Teachers are being asked to use, share and feedback on experiences with these resources, as the Scottish FA and partners continue to develop the project.

For more information and to download the resources please visit https://euro2020.scottishfa.co.uk/learning-through-football. Teachers and schools are also encouraged to share their work on social media using #LearningThroughFootball, #EURO2020 and tagging @GlasgowEURO2020.

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