Primary Student Development

Thousands of young people of all shapes, sizes and abilities play rugby throughout the nation every week of the season. Some play with the aim of playing at the highest level; some play because they enjoy the friendship; some play because it is a team sport; some because the whole family is welcome; and some simply to get active and fit. But they all play, above all, because it is great fun!

Developing children as confident, capable young people first is at the core of England Rugby’s offer to schools. Using rugby union as a vehicle for developing young people’s personal and social skills alongside their rugby skills can have a dramatic impact on all aspects of their lives and has real whole school impact. The RFU have looked at the specific needs of primary aged children and developed a new concept centred around the player, called Kids First Rugby.

Kids First Rugby is founded upon the following principles:

  • A child centred approach – Developing Confident, Capable Young People first
  • A game for all young people with increased involvement for all.
  • Reducing the influence of competition on development, an emphasis on competitive performance not competitive outcome.
  • Tag Rugby festivals should involve as many children playing as many different games as possible, maximising involvement and enjoyment for all, with no overall winners.


The RFU have worked with the Youth Sport Trust this year to remodel our primary school competition offer for the Sainsburys Schools Games and align it with the principles of Kids First Rugby. Download your copy of the new Kids First Competition and Games Guide

The new approach encourages delivery of a format that allows more children to get involved, where the focus is on the competitive opportunity rather than the outcome and that links to our community rugby clubs. The key message is that we are making competition more accessible to more children and helping to get primary school students of all standards experiencing the competitive rugby environment and what is great about our core values

Student Development

The RFU student leadership programme offers an award courses for pupils aged 9 – 11.  This awards is FREE to access and can be downloaded here to be delivered by school staff.

Tour and Cross Border Fixtures

Taking part in rugby activity in a different rugby union is a fantastic way to develop your students further. It can provide them with the opportunity to learn about different cultures, build team spirit, and create memories and friendships that will last a lifetime.

The RFU has a dedicated section to organising tours oversees from checklists to the permission to tour process. For more information please visit

RFU Key Stage 2 Playground Leaders Award

Leadership activities have shown significant impact in developing the personal and social skills of those doing the leading. For many pupils it is their first experience of responsibility; the first time they have been listened to, the first time they have gained an idea of their own worth, their personal skills and potential. For some it can often be the first time they have gained success in P.E.