Football in Education

I get very excited each time the World Cup comes around, in a way that always surprises me. You see, I’m not much of a football fan really – I follow Birmingham City and make it to a one match every couple of seasons and much of the way football is run disgruntles me – the seemingly dodgy businesses representing many clubs and the rather arrogant timing such as in 2005 when the Premiership started before England had finished winning the Ashes and in 2008 when again the Premiership started before the Olympics had finished.


However I really enjoy the World Cup (and have done since I spent a joyful 90 minutes with two friends hitting the screen with cricket stumps and elastic bands aged 10 during that infamous Germany v. Austria game of the 1982 World Cup) and I enjoy the opportunities it brings into my classroom and my key stage.


This year the host country, beinng South Africa, has provided some great opportunities for maths, writing, history, geography and music. And that’s before we even get to the World Cup.


When it comes to the World Cup, I’m looking forward to a range of different maths things to do with the data of the World Cup. The Fifa website is a good source for this, but unfortunately much of the interactive stuff is filtered out by our LA, so a safer option is the Schools Fantasy League, although this does involve paying money (it’s well worth it for older Key Stage 2 children particularly). For one off lessons I’ve often found the Primary resourceswebsite to be a good one. In school we use Espresso and that always has a good set of resources that you can use for a longer sequence of lessons.


The main thing in all this, however, is motivation. Certain year 6 boys are particularly difficult to motivate during the latter stages of the Summer term, due to their impending move to secondary school. Studying the world cup gives them a chance to use their maths skills in solving longer problems, with a purpose that keeps them focussed.

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