The power of football is being used to get children to pick up a book and get reading thanks to an author, Preston North End and the Primary Stars Programme.
Ben Lyttleton, co-author of the book, ‘Football School – Where Football Rules The World’ was a visitor of St Oswald’s Primary School and Whitefield Primary School in Preston, where, alongside the schools team at Preston North End, Ben delivered a fun, engaging assembly which looked to take football and all of its qualities and use it as a way to engage learning - which Ben went on to explain when he sat down with the matchday programme post-event.
“What we find is that football is a great gateway to get children reading which is why the PL Primary Stars Programme and the work that Preston North End do as well is absolutely fantastic,” told the author, whose book is officially recommended by the Premier League Primary Stars Programme which North End delivers to the Preston area.
“Children are really passionate about football and sometimes with reluctant readers, it’s sometimes hard for them to engage with a subject that gets them to pick up a book but we find with football books, it’s easier to get kids reading.”
Whilst conducting the assemblies, Ben was given a helping hand from North End’s very own Deepdale Duck as the author went on to explain how the book tells of a fictional school which is ruled by football and learning.
The tale echoes the key values of the Primary Stars Programme which looks to use the power of football clubs to engage and inspire primary school pupils, and having witnessed first hand the work of Preston North End’s Stars Programme, the author believes the programme is a ‘brilliant’ tool to get children engaged into learning.
Ben continued: “The support from Preston North End has been fantastic. We’ve had Deepdale Duck here who’s made the kids dance, laugh and do goal celebrations and I think the kids have had a really memorable day.
“The Premier League Primary Stars Programme is brilliant at engaging kids in literacy and numeracy and clubs like PNE are really supportive of these programmes, so by working together, with the community in schools and with football clubs like Preston North End, it makes sure all the kids come out of it engaged.
“We have Geography, Chemistry, Physics and in each lesson we’re explaining about the lessons through football. In Geography for example we’re looking at how the climate in Brazil makes the players so skilful. In Physics we ask what football would be like on Mars so it’s learning by stealth; parents like it, teachers like and football clubs like it as well.
“It’s making reading fun and not something to be nervous about. It’s about encouraging children to read and learn about the world and the idea that reading is a really good past time. It can be about football or anything but it can take children into amazing imaginative worlds and they can also learn from that as well and football can really help with that process.”