12:32 15 July 2012
Rovers work with local schools
Many of our fans may be completely unaware that tucked under the Uplands Stand is a state of the art, fully equipped classroom known as the Study Centre. For the last nine years the Study Centre has been helping Bristol school children with their literacy, numeracy and I.T skills within the exciting and stimulating context of football.
The key focus of the Study Centre this year has seen the development of our BTEC level 3 National in Sport. This is a full time 2 year course and is open to both boys and girls, aged between 16-18yrs and is the equivalent to 3 A Levels. Our students study a wide range of topics including the Principles and anatomy and physiology in sport, fitness testing and exercise, sports nutrition and psychology for sports performance. Students also train and play Futsal, an exciting, fast-paced small sided football game, representing Bristol Rovers in a National League.
This year we will also be launching a new project for 16-24 year olds not currently in education, employment or training. Our level 1 education programme uses the power of football to engage, encourage and motivate our local community to participate in physical activity, lead healthier lives and improve their education. The programme aims to develop employability skills and basic numeracy and literacy whilst also giving candidates an introduction into sport and exercise studies.
Children from local schools also attend a series of five weekly three hour sessions which culminate in a presentation of awards and a display of the hard work the students have put in, attended by parents/carers and teachers.
The 'stadium tour' often kicks off the first session where children armed with clipboards and a quiz sheet have to find as many clues and bits of information as they can whilst exploring the nooks and crannies of The Memorial Stadium including the players changing rooms where if they are lucky they can sit in the exact spot that David Beckham sat with the rest of the Manchester United team whilst preparing to take on Rovers a few years ago.
The courses usually have a creative edge to them and an example of this is the creative photography course which has been running for several years now. Students find out about the origins of photography by visiting the camera obscura at The Clifton Observatory just by the Suspension Bridge and they learn how to take abstract and portrait pictures. The images then inspire writing which is added to the pictures using Photoshop on the Apple Mac lap tops.
Animation is another popular course offered here at the Study Centre. We have used the theme of 'Pirates' to explore Bristol's maritime history with the help of Pirate Pete down at the Bristol Docks. With the children's imaginations fired up they then create wonderful pirate characters from plasticine and bring these to life using their newly acquired animation skills. A typical parent's comments was 'Alana was so enthusiastic about this course, she loved it. Thank you for such a great opportunity'.
Another exciting opportunity is for the children to take part in a question and answer session with Rovers players who are invited to the Study Centre and subjected to a grilling by wide eyed and enthusiastic young reporters.
A new course that has started this term is 'Double Club'. This consists of an hour and a quarter of literacy work using the theme of football with the reward of forty minutes of football skills and games with one of our Football in the Community coaches.
Other projects that we run include: a street art project where young people visit the work of established local graffiti artists and learn the skills to design and complete their own creations; a project where students make a film with the theme 'what does it take to succeed', using the Bristol Rovers players as inspiration and a project where younger children learn how to write and record their own rap song.
Since it's opening in 2002 the Study Centre has been funded by the Local Authority and the Department for Education but recently these funding streams have been withdrawn. Bristol City Council and the directors of Bristol Rovers FC are keen for the Study Centre to continue and will give us all the support they can, but we are looking to sponsors, supporters and funders to help us. Adam Tutton, Centre Manager stated, "the positive side of the changes to our funding means that we can open up the use of the Centre to the wider community, including South Gloucestershire schools and community groups. We have already planned family and adult learning opportunities including a Lads and Dads programme with an hour of I.T based learning followed by tickets to a match and our Silver Surfers programme which gives senior citizens the chance to learn or improve their computer based skills."
If you, your school, local community group or organisation are interested in taking part in any of the courses offered at the Study Centre or can help support the work we do then please contact Adam Tutton the Education manager on 0117 3304737 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org