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Curriculum gets the boot when Ledley's on the ball

England star's alma mater substitutes lessons for a week of tournament-themed learning

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England star's alma mater substitutes lessons for a week of tournament-themed learning

England defender Ledley King's former school is dumping its curriculum for a week to concentrate on teaching subjects using the World Cup.

King is expected to be in the England football team's line-up when it plays its opening group match against the United States tomorrow night.

The 29-year-old was a pupil at the Blessed John Roche School in east London in the mid- 1990s, before it was taken over by Bishop Challoner Catholic Collegiate School six years ago.

Now the school, in Tower Hamlets, is hoping the Tottenham player's exploits will form part of its teaching on subjects such as English and maths to around 500 pupils from Years 7 and 8.

The move is the brainchild of PE heads Stewart Brown and Joanne Sangster and will run for five days from June 14 to 18 - when England and King will play their second game of the tournament against Algeria in Cape Town.

English lessons will see children write match reports and World Cup stories while maths sessions will teach percentages, averages and graphs using the tournament's games and tables.

Mr Brown added that geography lessons would involve pupils learning about World Cup host nation South Africa as well as the 31 other countries that have qualified for the event.

"We can use sport as a driving force to develop the children's education," he said. "It's the first time that we've done something like this, where we've collapsed the whole of the timetable."

The school is also looking at similar initiatives to tie in with next year's Rugby World Cup, taking place in New Zealand, and the following year's Olympic Games in London.

A number of schools are using the World Cup to help promote improved learning in academic subjects, with initiatives being backed by charity Youth Sport Trust.

Its chief executive, Steve Grainger, said an increasing number of schools had been considering using the World Cup as a way to teach traditional subjects in a different way.

"It's definitely on an upward curve," he said. "There is some scepticism, but the World Cup is happening during school term time and we're saying to schools, `Here's a range of things you might be able to do.'

"For example, in maths it can be used in a very practical way.

"We're saying to schools that they can use the World Cup, which kids will have saturation exposure to, as a theme to deliver education."

Original paper headline: Curriculum gets the boot while Ledley's on the ball

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