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Footie raises game

Football fever is kick-starting geography lessons at an "outstanding" school that has already scored with Estyn inspectors, writes Nicola Porter.

Staff at Cogan primary in Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, are celebrating after being awarded more than a double "hat-trick" of seven grade 1s - the first primary in the county to sweep the board.

Inspectors praised the "warm, bright and stimulating" environment. They could not fault the seven key categories, including pupil achievement and leadership. Schemes of good practice and "mature attitudes to work and play" were also commended.

Head Anne Bowsher told how tapping into the pupils' love of the beautiful game was boosting learning. Every year has been allocated a footballing nation to support - including Brazil, Portugal, Spain, France, the Netherlands and England.

Mrs Bowsher, praised by inspectors for her leadership, said: "The pupils are encouraged to learn as much as possible about their country, be it the national dish or where to find it on the map.

Every class at the 193-pupil school is decorated in the colours of their host nation. Union Jacks and bunting deck out England's classroom, belonging to the unit for deaf and hearing impaired.

Estyn also mentioned schemes such as school watch, with pupils creating "friendship shelters" to make sure there is a happy playground ethos.

Children who feel lonely or want somewhere quiet to sit go to the shelters.

A record 93 per cent of lessons at the school inspection in March were found to have good or very good quality of teaching, with staff providing "excellent role models for pupils, demonstrating a mutual respect and a caring attitude".

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