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11 April 2017



11 April 2017

The programme aims to support 10,000 primary schools by 2019

The Premier League has launched Premier League Primary Stars, a national curriculum-linked education 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.  

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

The Premier League Primary Stars resources have been created in partnership with industry experts Edcoms and the PSHE Association, National Literacy Trust and other key stakeholders, with input from children’s authors Cressida Cowell and Dan Freedman, and mathematician Rachel Riley. 

This content adds to the existing support professional football clubs provide to primary schools and their local communities, and will offer a free downloadable suite of resources for teachers across Key Stages 1 and 2 in English, Maths, PE and PSHE. 

The Gills are one of the 88 Premier League and English Football League clubs who help to provide in-school support for local primary schools as part of the programme.  

8,000 children across 67 primary schools

This academic year, our Gillingham FC Community Trust (GFCCT) team have worked with 67 different primary schools, engaging with over 8,000 different children across Medway and Kent.

The core part of the Gills’ primary school delivery is PE and School Sports.  Our coaches deliver sports-based breakfast, lunchtime and after school clubs which help to keep the young participants active and healthy, while also giving additional opportunities for children to develop teamwork, coordination, and cooperation skills in fun and active ways beyond the classroom.

Alongside regular work each term in a number of schools, our coaches always try to get involved and support as many schools as possible. Recently they ran a Focus Week in Sevenoaks, working with 15 local primary schools in the Sevenoaks district.

Our apprenticeship scheme is also a big part of the work the Gills deliver in primary schools.  Our young Teaching Assistant and Sports Coach Apprentices are placed in partner schools, and are involved in delivering a multitude of different subjects such as PE, Numeracy, and Literacy; breakfast, lunchtime, and after school clubs; one-to-one support; behaviour mentoring; and additional support for children with physical and mental disabilities.

As well as providing high quality PE and sports provision, and giving more opportunities for children to stay active and healthy at school, our apprenticeship scheme also aims to address the lack of male role models in primary schools. Through our apprentices, we are able to reach more schools and more children across Medway and Kent. 

Alongside our in-school delivery, the club has also built strong connections with local primary schools to provide more opportunities for pupils. Many of the schools we work with take part in our match-day Half-time Shoot Out competition, which is a chance to show off the skills they’ve learnt in front of the home crowd at MEMS Priestfield Stadium! Inviting pupils to the ground brings the partnership between the schools and the club even closer.

Players support school delivery 

Gills first team players have also got behind our work in schools, and often join us to meet and inspire the pupils we work with. In the last month, Elliott List and Greg Cundle visited Tymberwood Academy in Gravesend for their Inspiration Week to talk health, nutrition and achieving your dreams, while recently-signed player Ollie Muldoon spoke to pupils from Napier Primary Academy in Gillingham about life as a professional footballer.

Mr Pugh, PE teacher at Napier Primary Academy, said of the school’s visit to the club: “It was a fantastic opportunity; the children don’t get out of school much and opportunities like this are quite rare, so it’s a really special opportunity for our children and staff.  [The children] learnt a lot – all of the potential footballers got some advice from the pro.  It was a really positive experience for us all.”

Like at the Gills, players from clubs across the country are getting involved with the Premier League Primary Stars programme.  The  launch  of the  programme  has seen  the  Premier  League  unveil  its  first  ever  national advertising campaign, which features top Premier League names.  The advert highlights the core values from the Premier League Primary Stars programme – to be ambitious, connected, fair and inspiring. 

Richard Scudamore, Executive Chairman, Premier League added:
“We are very excited to launch Premier League Primary Stars, our new national education programme that will use the power and popularity of football to inspire children to work hard and enjoy English, Maths and a range of other subjects. 
“Our clubs already do great work in primary schools, and Premier League Primary Stars will support and enhance that work with educational resources for teachers, books from celebrated children’s authors, and much more. 
“We want to support 10,000 primary schools in England and Wales by 2019 and we hope that our first national TV advertising campaign, including star names from our clubs, will capture the imagination of parents, teachers and children and encourage them to sign-up to Premier League Primary Stars.”

Find out more about the Premier League Primary Stars programme or nominate your school at

Gills Reading Champions initiative 

For the Gills, the club is hoping to expand the work we deliver, providing opportunities for more pupils in schools across Medway and Kent. 

Head of Football and Sports Development Simon Hodge said: “It’s exciting to have the Premier League support the excellent primary school initiatives the Gills deliver to children across Medway and Kent. Gills coaches currently deliver a variety of initiatives such as PE delivery; healthy living activities; football coaching; and multi-sports, and actively support varying competitive school competitions. The Primary Stars programme will give GFCCT even more opportunity to engage with more schools, and work with even more children across Medway and Kent”. 

From September 2017, the Gills will be working with local primary schools to give children the opportunity to further improve their reading and writing skills through our Gills Reading Champions initiative. The initiative will link neatly with the Premier League Primary Stars programme, and will be supported by children’s author Dan Freedman. 1,000 Gillingham FC-branded Jamie Johnson “Born to Play” books will be given out to primary school children in order to support their reading and writing skills alongside reading interventions led by GFCCT staff.  

Read more about GFCCT’s work with the Premier League here. You can also find out more about the GFC Community Trust on Twitter via @GillsCommunity, or contact us on

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