Rokeby School hits the Gold Standard

  • Rokeby School earns Gold Standard award for RWC legacy
  • Jason Leonard presented the award to the school

Rokeby School in Newham, East London has received a special Gold Standard award from the Rugby Football Union for introducing rugby to its students.

The award, presented by RFU President Jason Leonard and Education Minister Edward Timpson, is to celebrate Rokeby School’s success in ensuring its rugby programme is sustainable through teacher-led curriculum delivery.

Having joined the All Schools programme in 2012, one of the first 100 schools to do so, all year groups at Rokeby School now play rugby and play in festivals and fixtures with other All Schools and other schools in Essex and Middlesex.

Rokeby School is one of 15 of the 400 schools currently involved with the All Schools programme, supported by Principal Partner CBRE, to have received a Gold Standard award.

The RFU has made these awards during the Rugby World Cup to demonstrate the great work that is going on around the nation to ensure there is a real and sustainable legacy from the tournament.

Last year 150 students took part in extra-curricular rugby activity, with a number of pupils having joined the local club as a result.

RFU President Jason Leonard said: “Being from this neck of the woods, it was great to come to Rokeby School today and help present this award. Having visited the school a few years back when rugby was first introduced, it’s fantastic to see how far they have come and the impact the sport is having on the school.

"The integration of rugby into the school has been a real success and this is testament to all the work from the teachers and students involved."

Teachers at the school have all completed RFU coaching courses and, despite working in an inner city area where there isn’t a culture of rugby, have made the programme work by arranging games, supporting their pupils to attend local clubs and working hard in the school.Last year 150 students took part in extra-curricular rugby activity, with a number of pupils having joined the local club as a result.

Leonard added: “It’s been great to see how All Schools has helped to make school life happier and healthier by encouraging learning and improving students’ confidence and their self-esteem.

"I’m sure as Rokeby School carries on building their rugby programme they will continue to go from strength to strength on the rugby pitch and in the classroom"

[PHOTO src="1314522" size="mediumLandscape" align="right"]Edward Timpson, Minister of State for Children and Families, said: “The lessons young people learn from rugby can benefit them for the rest of their lives. Rugby can teach important life skills, such as resilience, working in teams and fair play.  It can enable children to fulfil their potential and achieve their high aspirations.

“I was delighted to present Rokeby School with a plaque to celebrate all their hard-work in creating its rugby programme and teacher-led curriculum.”

All Schools, supported by Principal Partner CBRE, plans to take rugby to 750 more state secondary schools by 2019 as part of the RFU’s World Cup legacy plans.

Schools are identified in regional clusters and supported over three years with a tailored programme to meet its individual needs, including links to local clubs. By establishing relationships with rugby clubs it will help the school and club to retain more players and grow the game.

Charlotte Robinson, Headteacher at Rokeby School said: “All Schools has had a lasting impact on the students and staff at Rokeby School. All four of our current Student Leaders have been through the programme and have represented the school at Rugby in the past couple of years."

Linked to more than 140 community rugby clubs, over 60% of the 400 schools currently in All Schools are running a mixed or girls’ programme, with 35% of all the players female. More than 130,000 students took part last season and many have joined a local rugby club and are playing regularly with them.

More than 600 teachers were also trained as coaches and match officials. Research conducted by Sheffield Hallam University on behalf of England Rugby has shown that 65% of young people taking part in All Schools are more confident as a result.

The Headteacher added: "One of them was so inspired by Rugby that he started up a Rugby team in his home area as at that time none existed. Boys who previously did not excel in any sport have been given the opportunity to shine. Our school motto is ‘Dare to be the best’ and through this programme they definitely have.”