Lesson planning in another sphere

9th June 2006 at 01:00
"Vindaloo, vindaloo... now a chord change... and harmonise!" It's not the obvious choice for the study of music's finer points, but variations on football chants are among the World Cup-themed lessons in schools.

Teachers on the TES online staffroom forum are exchanging lesson ideas on how to accommodate pupils' football fever.

An English teacher said: "Not the most stimulating time of year. Everything winding down. But some of us are really excited about a major international event. I'm teaching the Bad Manners song "Come On England", which is a bit like poetry."

Victoria Ratcliffe, a languages teacher at South Dartmoor comprehensive, in Devon, said: "The World Cup is something all students are into. If we use it, they'll be interested in learning. It would be stupid to ignore it."

But those whose subjects bear no obvious link to football need not feel they have been shown the red card. Maths teachers suggest calculating the average age of World Cup teams, or using team flags to study symmetry.

The TES has produced a poster - in this week's Teacher magazine - which invites pupils to draw up a dream team using match statistics, while history teachers can track the competition back to its inception in Uruguay, in 1930.

James Royal, head of Blackrod church school, in Bolton, said: "The World Cup is a great vehicle to help children who don't learn as comfortably in traditional ways."

Others could do without football. One online contributor said: "It is a pile of crap played by a bunch of overpaid thugs. My classroom is a World Cup-free zone."


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