Watching brief for schoolkids

St. Aidans primary school pupils not enjoying the world cup on a big screen in the school hall
St. Aidans primary school pupils not enjoying the world cup on a big screen in the school hall

C’MON England! These World Cup-loving schoolchildren are watching Roy Hodgson’s boys from the comfort of their school hall.

St Aidan’s CofE Primary School, in Loyalty Road in Hartlepool, has come up with a great way of backing the biggest sporting event in the world - and of giving pupils the chance to watch their sporting heroes.

It has organised for the children to get together and watch three of the matches with a 5pm kick-off.

They are doing it on a screen in the school hall and up to 30 children a time are taking up the offer.

The idea was the brainchild of the school’s sports coach Jonny Murray who said: “They have already watched the Germany-Portugal game. They will be back in for the England game against Costa Rica next week and they will be watching the match between the Group E winners and the Group F runners-up.”

But for each game, watching the match is just one part of the fun, said Jonny. “At half time, we set up a swapping station where anyone who has been collecting World Cup stickers can swap theirs with other people. And we also go outside to have our own game of football before we sit down to watch the second half.”

Parents drop their children off and then come to pick up the children at the end of the games. The youngsters can also have snacks and drinks.

Jonny said the children were really getting into the spirit of the tournament. “They are all talking about it and we are getting around 30 children for each match.”

Even England’s 2-1 defeat against Italy has not dampened the youngster’s spirit, said Jonny. In fact, it only served to add to the excitement.

“They are still optimistic and they all think we can get to the World Cup Final and win it.”

The screenings have come at the perfect time as the school is also taking part in Sports Week next week. Each of the classes is given a World Cup country and is taking on a project to do with that country.

Jonny said: “The children are really enjoying being involved and you can see how it is having an effect. When we have our PE lessons, the children are coming in and talking about things such as how Ronaldo runs.

“There is a really good atmosphere in the school.”