Using football to inspire children to learn
Albion in the Community plays an important role as part of the bedrock of the education system in Sussex. Using the power of football as a tool to engage pupils, we help local schools throughout the county by providing valuable PE lessons and creative classroom learning.
Rob Josephs, the charity’s schools manager is somebody who understands both the importance of education, but also how the profile of the football club can have a vital impact in the local community.
He said: “I spent 16 years as a teacher in mainstream secondary education, predominantly as a PE Teacher but also as a head of year, enterprise lead and director of student leadership and participation.
“I am a huge believer that football clubs are at the heart of the community and from my own sporting background and my previous work as a PE Teacher, I know how much sport can impact lives in a positive way.”
AITC supports over 140 schools each year (including both mainstream and Special Educational Need and Disability schools), reaching more than 10,000 pupils in lessons that support literacy, numeracy, STEM subjects and physical activity.
Rob explains: “We use football to support children to be active, contextualise their learning and build confidence in who they are and what they can achieve We use the theme of football and the popularity of the Albion to help them to build healthy futures and to make positive choices. Whenever we head out to a school we’re there to add value to the communities that we work in.”
One of the many schools that benefit from AITC’s educational programme is Breakwater Academy, a primary school based in Newhaven, East Sussex.
Every Tuesday, the charity’s team go into Breakwater and provide a range of workshops and lessons throughout the day. These include PE sessions that focus on developing fundamental characteristics of sport such as teamwork and fair play. AITC’s coaches also work closely with teachers to help them gain confidence and develop their own skills to deliver a broad and balanced PE curriculum.
In the classroom, AITC focus their work on individual or small-group intervention work around themes such as numeracy, literacy and PSHE. Tom Mahoney, who works as a Premier League Primary Stars mentor, helps deliver these valuable classroom sessions.
“I love working with primary school children and ultimately make a difference in their lives. I’m a big Brighton fan so working in the local community and helping to benefit young children is really important to me.”
Since working with Breakwater, teacher Millie Phipps has shared how much of an impact AITC has had on their children’s education.
“It’s amazing, the difference when the children come back in after a session with AITC is genuinely lovely, they are so happy,” Millie shares with a smile. “They really look forward to it and are genuinely very excited when I tell them that AITC are coming into the school, they really love it.”
Alongside PE and classroom delivery, AITC also runs several inter-schools football competitions to help pupils develop teamwork, sportsmanship and – win or lose – to learn, grow, and be better prepared for life. The flagship competition, The Albion Cup, is open to all schools across Sussex. Regional qualifying tournaments take place in Brighton and Hove, East Sussex and West Sussex with teams qualifying through to the finals, which are usually held at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre in Lancing.
To find out more about how we can support your school visit: https://albioninthecommunity.org.uk/education-and-employability/supporting-schools/