The Saints Foundation, supports young people across Northamptonshire and beyond.
Northampton Rugby Football Club (NRFC) was founded by Reverend Samuel Wathan Wigg in 1880 in order to remedy the unruly behaviour of youngsters in his parish through a youth rugby club. This approach went from strength to strength, resulting in the success of the current day Premiership rugby club, which continues to place the community at the heart of all it does.
An education centre that links in with local schools across Northamptonshire has been in place at NRFC for a number of years, utilising the medium of sport to inspire young people. Today, we deliver a number of sessions within our Education provision as detailed below:
Our Education programme has been updated over the past few months, and is designed to tackle 3 main areas to support young people:
Tackling Health Using rugby as a focus, this programme aims to not only improve young people’s understanding of what constitutes healthy eating and a healthy diet, but also aims to teach students about their own health and well-being.
Tackling Character This programme covers rugby’s five core values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship. During the programme, pupils will discuss and develop their knowledge and understanding of the core values and how they are applied in real life situations.
Tackling Numeracy With the aim of covering and improving upon core skills from all areas of numeracy (number, shape space and measure, using and applying and data handling) this programme begins to prepare young people for their future, by using rugby themed content that connects with a variety of experiences. The programme offers leaners the chance to use and embed their numeracy skills within practical and real-life contexts.
In 2012, the award winning HITZ Programme was introduced to NRFC, this programme, delivered nationally by the 12 Premiership Rugby Clubs , and primarily funded by Wooden Spoon, LandRover and Comic Relief, uses rugby’s core values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship to get young people (aged 16-18) who are not currently in education, training or employment (NEET) back into education, training, apprenticeships and/or employment.
Once this was established and running effectively, the team here at the education centre identified other target groups of young people, who needed additional support. And so, in 2015, we developed our own Engage Primary and Secondary, Engage + and Aspire programmes as part of our Social Inclusion Programme. Further details of these are below.
Social Inclusion Programme
- Engage Programme (Primary & Secondary) targets 9-16 year olds struggling in mainstream education. More often than not these young people come from disadvantaged backgrounds and have had poor life experiences. The ‘Engage’ programme uses practical and classroom-based activities to empower these young people, increase their confidence and provide them with the skills to improve their life chances. Since the inception of the ‘Engage’ programme we have worked with over 300 young people. The results have been excellent, achieving a strong success rate, which has resulted in excess of 220 attendees returning to mainstream education. The referrals to the “Engage” programme come from a range of departments within the Education, Social Care and Police arena, including Special Educational Needs, Education & Inclusion, Social Workers and the Police Community Initiative to Reduce Violence. There is a clear demand for the expansion of the ‘Engage’ programme as requests and referrals from these agencies continue to increase.
- Engage Plus Programme has been developed to work with students aged 16 to 19 who are struggling in Foundation learning programmes at Northampton College. The programme has been running for over two years, and again, is generally attended by students with complex educational and behavioural needs. We provide support for students who have been removed from courses or are at risk of being permanently expelled from Northampton College courses. During this time, we have worked with 64 students, and helped progress them progress onto education, employment or training.
- Aspire Programme runs through the summer school holidays and provides provision for students across all of our other programmes, who would otherwise have nowhere else to go during the long summer break. It helps us to keep in touch with these often vulnerable young people, and continue to provide the support they need. In summer 2019, we supported 50 students who attended 5 weeks.
All our staff are fully trained and experienced in working with students with educational attainment issues and behavioural problems.