Norwich City football coaches to help teach classes at free school

Footballers, dancers, karate experts and ski instructors will be some of the 'teachers' at Norwich's first free school.

As part of the Free School Norwich's personalised learning curriculum, youngsters will be able to choose an activity to take part in every Tuesday afternoon.

Activities will include football, skiing, cookery, drama, dancing and karate. Pupils will go out to the relevant venues, such as Carrow Park at Norwich City's home ground in Carrow Road, the ski slope at Trowse and the Maddermarket Theatre, and learn skills from the professionals.

'It allows the children to get out into the community and mix with experts and professionals,' said Tania Sidney-Roberts, the key proposer behind the Surrey Street school and its first principal.

'The children will get the chance to learn skills that teachers in schools normally can't cover. It might spark an interest or talent in that sport or activity in a real life situation and help them realise their potential. It's unusual to have that opportunity, especially in a primary school setting.'

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Free School Norwich will cater for up to 168 youngsters aged from four to 11 and will be one of the first eight free schools to open in England in September.

The 'free school' model, which originates in Sweden, sees schools directly funded by the government and removed from local authority control, with the freedom to set their curriculum and holiday.

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The personalised learning curriculum will be run at no extra cost to parents. Companies involved include ESKA Karate and The Kitchen Fairy.

Jen Dewsbury, education officer at the Maddermarket Theatre, said: 'The children are going to come to us and use the theatre, working with staff, preparing for their own show and taking part in workshops.'

Steve Bramble, from Norwich City Community Sports Foundation, said: 'It will give children the chance to work with our coaches and help pass on our message of having an active and healthy lifestyle.'

Is your school sending pupils out into the community to learn? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email

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