The Warriors Community Development team is about to launch one of its most ambitious projects.
The Sixways-based Playing for Success Centre will aim to ensure that every child who walks through its doors will enjoy themselves and achieve by using it, will make a positive contribution to its success and be healthy.
The Centre – which will be managed by Glyn Lodge – will also have clearly-defined links with Worcestershire’s Education Development Plan and work to firmly-set priorities, starting with raising achievement in Key Stage 1, 2 and 3 levels, promoting inclusion, narrowing the achievement gap, and broadening perspectives..
The new PfS Study Centre will be housed in self-contained premises leased by Worcester Rugby from Worcestershire County Council at the rear of the South Stand at Sixways Stadium.
It’s due to undergo interior refurbishment soon to produce a corporate-style state-of-the-art learning environment that looks and feels as little like a classroom as possible. When it’s finished, the centre will boast a secure reception area, an administration office, a partitioned ICT suite and teaching area, a multi-purpose room that will act as a soft working area, library, teaching room overspill area, and a student chill-out room.
The whole project has been put together with the help of the youngsters who’ll be using it, following a two-day student workshop involving 15 students from four local primary and two secondary schools. They assisted in the centre’s design, its naming and the design of its logo, as well as they decision to decorate it, inside and out, in club colours.
The centre, which has already been presented with a fantastic cheque for £25,000 by regional fund-raisers from the Wooden Spoon rugby charity to provide the latest hardware and software, is expected to open in January, 2007.
Manager Glyn Lodge – who is already in post – is an experienced Middle School teacher with a background in physical education, PSHE, citizenship and humanities and considerable senior management experience in pastoral care and curriculum development, particularly at Key Stage 3.
To support PfS students, he’ll a call on a pool of volunteer mentors being recruited from the University of Worcester, Worcester Sixth Form College, two local secondary school sixth forms, local businesses and the community. Staff, supporters and Academy players of the club will also be involved.
“This was one of the first projects I took on when I started the role in 2004,” says Warriors’ Community Development Manager Dan Zaltzman, who is a member of the steering committee that will oversee the exciting project. “A lot of hard work has been carried out by a number of people from a number of different organisations to make this project become a reality. It’s the most exciting new addition to development of the club.
“The benefits of using the ‘wow’ factor of the players and a Premiership rugby club to inspire and enthuse youngsters will be available to children from all over Worcestershire. Ultimately, we’d like WRFC to become the hub for study support and out of hours learning in the county”.
The following schools, which are either very close to or within Worcester, will be used in the development phases and as the first cohort of invited schools.
- Pershore High School
- Christopher Whitehead Language College
- Cranham Primary School
- Warndon Junior School
- St. George’s CE Primary School
- Dines Green Primary School
Among other things, students in Year 5 to 9 will be selected by the schools to help them improve literacy and numeracy, as well as build their interest in learning, or their confidence, self esteem and social skills.
When open, it’s anticipated that PfS will support up to eight schools a term, meaning that around 120 students per term and 360 students annually will benefit. Initially, each group of 16 will be offered a 20-hour programme delivered in two-hour sessions over a 10-week period.
“The main focus of the programmes will be activity-based learning through creativity and publication, largely around the theme of rugby and other sports,” says Glyn. “All students will receive a stadium tour as part of the programme and it’s intended that Warriors players and staff will be involved in some part of the programme in some capacity that’s relevant to the students’ learning”.
When the centre becomes more established, it’s anticipated that holiday programmes will be developed and further support the existing educational provision made by Worcester Warriors RFC Community Programme which currently includes rugby camps, tackle learning and healthy lifestyles.
Wooden Spoon has supplied the ICT equipment, while Iris Interiors Ltd have sponsored a big proportion of the refurbishment costs and npower have sponsored one of the rooms.
Tescos and Sainsbury’s donated food and drink for students attending the recent two-day student workshop, while First Milk will provide milk for students attending the Centre when PfS is operational.
The Centre is looking for sponsorship for a mini bus and furniture. The option to sponsor individual rooms within the premises is being offered to potential sponsors.
Glynn Lodge, Manager, 01905 728984, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan Zaltzman, Community Development Manager, 01905 459314, email@example.com