East London School receives special award for rugby from Jason Leonard and Education Minister
Rokeby School in Newham, East London has received a special Gold Standard award from the Rugby Football Union (RFU) for the work it has done to introduce rugby to its students.
The award, presented by RFU President Jason Leonard and Education Minister Edward Timpson, is to celebrate Rokeby School’s success in ensuring its rugby programme is sustainable through teacher-led curriculum delivery.
Having joined the All Schools programme in 2012, one of the first 100 schools to do so, all year groups at Rokeby School now play rugby and play in festivals and fixtures with other All Schools and other schools in Essex and Middlesex. Students have been delighted to receive kit and equipment and are fully engaged in rugby. Last year 150 students took part in extra-curricular rugby activity, with a number of pupils having joined the local club (East London RFC) as a result. Teachers at the school have also all completed RFU coaching courses and, despite working in an inner city area where there isn’t a culture of rugby, have gone over and above to make the programme work and develop this, through arranging games, supporting their pupils to attend local clubs and working hard in the school.
Rokeby School is one of 15 of the 400 schools currently involved with the All Schools programme to have received a Gold Standard award. The RFU has made these awards during the Rugby World Cup to demonstrate the great work that is going on around the nation to ensure there is a real and sustainable legacy from the tournament.
RFU President Jason Leonard said: “Being from this neck of the woods, it was great to come to Rokeby School today and help present this award. Having visited the school a few years back when rugby was first introduced, it’s fantastic to see how far they have come and the impact the sport is having on the school. The integration of rugby into the school has been a real success and this is testament to all the work from the teachers and students involved.
“It’s been great to see how All Schools has helped to make school life happier and healthier by encouraging learning and improving students’ confidence and their self-esteem. I’m sure as Rokeby School carries on building their rugby programme they will continue to go from strength to strength on the rugby pitch and in the classroom”
Edward Timpson, Minister of State for Children and Families, said: “The lessons young people learn from rugby can benefit them for the rest of their lives. Rugby can teach important life skills, such as resilience, working in teams and fair play. It can enable children to fulfil their potential and achieve their high aspirations. I was delighted to present Rockeby School with a plaque to celebrate all their hard work in creating its rugby programme and teacher-lead curriculum.”
Charlotte Robinson, Headteacher at Rokeby School said: “All Schools has had a lasting impact on the students and staff at Rokeby School. All four of our current Student Leaders have been through the programme and have represented the school at Rugby in the past couple of years. One of them was so inspired by Rugby that he started up a Rugby team in his home area as at that time none existed. Boys who previously did not excel in any sport have been given the opportunity to shine. Our school motto is ‘Dare to be the best’ and through this programme they definitely have!”