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Each year Albion in the Community (AITC) works with more than 140 local schools, using football as a way of engaging thousands of pupils.

A growing number of those pupils are taking part in Premier League Primary Stars, a national primary schools 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.

Here in Sussex AITC provides each participating school with a full term of support...

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Who we work with: Cadogan

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Each year Albion in the Community (AITC) works with more than 140 local schools, using football as a way of engaging thousands of pupils.

A growing number of those pupils are taking part in Premier League Primary Stars, a national primary schools 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.

Here in Sussex AITC provides each participating school with a full term of support and activity. In the last 12 months, 78 schools have taken part in Premier League Primary Stars. That meant that last season alone almost 2,000 pupils took part in Premier League Primary Stars locally, with AITC delivering 472 lessons and running 1,578 after school sessions. The charity also provided 39 teachers with expert support, helping improve their confidence and competency in delivering PE.

One individual who has benefited greatly from the project is Cadogan – a year 5 pupil at Coombe Road Primary School in Brighton.

His father, Cris, is in no doubt as to the hugely-positive impact Premier League Primary Stars and AITC have had on his son.

“He only had a certain amount of friends at school and he would only do certain things,” he explained. “He didn’t really want to get involved with other things.

“Now I can’t express enough what a different child he is. When he is happy he communicates and he interacts with everybody and that’s all down to the school and down to working with AITC – it’s fantastic. It has changed his life.”

Carly Farrell is one of AITC’s Premier League Primary Stars sports mentors and has been working with Cadogan and his classmates, using football to improve pupils’ physical literacy, boost their confidence and work on their communication skills and resilience.

She said: “Cadogan is a great example of what we’re trying to achieve through the project, using football to make a difference to the lives of local school children.

“It’s been a real pleasure to see him grow in confidence and develop his social and emotional resilience.”

As well as AITC’s work in local schools, hundreds of pupils from a number of local schools have attended Premier League Primary Stars curriculum days at the Amex Stadium, which are delivered in partnership with social enterprise Humanutopia.

It is a relatively simple approach – tapping into children’s love of football to encourage them to better-engage with their school work – but it is also one which is having a significant impact.

The results so far have certainly been encouraging: 88% of pupils said they were now inspired to make the most of their education; 92% told AITC they could now be proud of who they are.

For more information on how your local school can work with AITC, email: schools@albioninthecommunity.org.uk.