2012 Olympic Games can champion learning

View Latest News Publish Date: 25-Sep-2005

2012 Olympic Games can champion learning

Education Secretary Ruth Kelly has outlined new measures to use the 2012 Olympic Games as an opportunity to enthuse youngsters about learning and help unearth potential sporting champions of the future.

She said that use of the Olympic Games as part of teaching the national curriculum in core subjects like history and geography can play a key part in motivating children. She also called on every school in the country to follow the lead of sports colleges by holding special assemblies to look at key themes linked to the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, from sport itself to culture, from diversity to sporting behaviour and values.

On a visit to one assembly at a London school with Sports Minister Richard Caborn - marking 2,500 days to the London Olympic Games opening ceremony - she said that the Department for Education and Skills will work with the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) and other partners to develop new ways of bringing the championships into materials that help teach the curriculum.

Ideas currently being considered include learning about the history of the Olympic Games as part of the history curriculum or studying international cultures through Arts and Creativity or Geography.

Sports colleges across the country are holding assemblies today to look at how the Olympic Games can change lives and inspire children, wherever their talents lie. In some schools they coincide with the opening of new sports facilities or the launch of school-wide competitions.

Based on a resource produced by the Youth Sport Trust and British Olympic Foundation, assemblies could involve a coach or volunteer talking about their role in a major event, demonstration of an Olympic sport new to the school or inviting a successful sport personality or past pupil to explain what motivated them.

The ministers visited Cumberland School in Newham, one of the east London boroughs that will be at the heart of the London Games.

Ruth Kelly said:

"Our winning bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games offers huge opportunities to motivate and enthuse our young people.

"Olympic values like dedication, teamwork and sportsmanship are as relevant in the classroom as on the sports field. And lessons based on the Olympic Games can make the curriculum even more relevant and interesting to students.

"We also know that sport can spur children on to do their best, not only in emulating their heroes, but also stimulating interest in core subjects.

"I'd also encourage schools across the country to hold assemblies and to think about the opportunities that hosting the Games in London in 2012 can offer. There is everything to play for, whether as a sports star, a volunteer or through a chosen profession, perhaps in languages, construction or hospitality.

"Like sports colleges across the country, Cumberland is well placed to inspire a new generation of medal winners. By taking expertise and support to partner schools, it is putting PE and sport at the heart of school life, where the Government believes it should be."

Richard Caborn, Minister for Sport, said:

"These are great initiatives to make our children and young people aware of the Olympic Games - and the values that the Olympic movement stands for. They are proof of the commitment right across Government to deliver the best ever Games in 2012.

"I hope that many of the young people I met at Cumberland School will be inspired to stick with sport after leaving school - and may even dream of competing for Britain in the London Olympic Games in seven years time."

Cumberland school has just moved into new premises, including two new grass pitches and indoor facilities, and this year showed one of the biggest improvements in GCSE results, with 45% receiving 5 A*-C grades, up from 23% last year. It was closely involved with the London 2012 bidding process, promoting the Games at home and abroad.

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