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Ryder Cup-themed School Curriculum launched in Newport

12.18am 24th March 2010 - Sponsorship - This story was updated on Saturday, April 24th, 2010

Back row (L-R): School Improvement Lead Advisor Gareth Coombes, former Ryder Cup Captain Brian Huggett, Leader of Newport City Council Councillor Matthew Evans, Class Y6CO teacher Claire Orford, Chairman of Ryder Cup Wales John Jermine and Ryder Cup Director Richard Hills. Front row (L-R): St Julian’s Primary Y6CO pupils Tommy Jenkins, Courtney Evans and Lucy Thomas. Picture ©Adrian Reilly

The European Tour has joined forces with Newport City Council Local Education Authority to launch a new, bilingual Ryder Cup-themed curriculum to pupils from years two to eight in schools across the city.

In a world first, teachers, head teachers and education officers have embraced being the host city for The 2010 Ryder Cup and created an exciting curriculum using golf and The Ryder Cup as a theme. Via this curriculum, children from across Newport will be taught new skills from literacy and numeracy to equalities, sustainable development, ICT and technology.

Newport schools St Julian’s Primary and Langstone Primary have been testing out the new curriculum, which is due to fully launch into schools across the city in September and which will run for seven weeks, coinciding with The Ryder Cup at The Celtic Manor Resort from October 1-3. Schools across Wales will also be able to access curriculum materials via an online resource as part of the Welsh Assembly Government’s National Grid for Learning Cymru initiative.

At the official launch, staff and students from St Julian’s Primary and Langstone Primary showcased their work to Ryder Cup Director Richard Hills, Leader of Newport City Council Councillor Matthew Evans; NCC cabinet member for young people’s services Cllr David Hando; School Improvement Lead Advisor Gareth Coombes; Chairman of Ryder Cup Wales John Jermine, Celtic Manor Chief Executive Dylan Matthews and former Ryder Cup Captain Brian Huggett as well as LEA staff involved in creating the curriculum.

The pupils also performed a special Ryder Cup song for the assembled guests, a song entitled ‘Arms Across the World’ which has been written especially for The Ryder Cup by local musician Emma Rowland.

Huggett, who captained Great Britain and Ireland against the United States at The Belfry in 1977 – the last Ryder Cup before Continental European players became involved in 1979 – and who played in the biennial contest on six occasions, admitted he was thrilled to see golf and The Ryder Cup being talked about by children in the classroom.

“I think this gives a perfect example of what The Ryder Cup means to Wales,” he said. “If you come to this school today you will see every classroom we’ve been too has been festooned with material about The Ryder Cup which it is fantastic. I think what Newport City Council and The European Tour have achieved with this initiative is wonderful.

“When I was a young boy – which was a long time ago now mind you – it was rugby and football talked about in schools, full stop. But golf has now got into the curriculum and that is very nice to see. The Ryder Cup has done so much for Wales and something like this today proves that.

“Growing up, I was lucky because my father was a golf professional so there was golf in my life but there was nothing spoken about the sport or the sport was never used as an educational tool in my day. That is why today and initiatives like this are so important and so impressive.”

Richard Hills added: “Ryder Cup Europe salutes the far-sightedness of Newport City Council Local Education Authority in initiating the link between The City of Newport hosting a world event such as The Ryder Cup and this unique curriculum opportunity.

“This is an outstanding example of how a major sporting occasion can interface with local and national schooling and we are hopeful that this first educational resource based on The Ryder Cup will roll out across the whole of Wales.

“We have been so impressed with the rich and memorable learning experience this will give to pupils – in addition to the positive legacy it will leave for the country itself – that we have flagged up the initiative to all six of the current bidding nations who are hopeful of following in Wales’ footsteps by hosting The Ryder Cup in 2018.”

John Jermine said; “Developing brand new curriculum materials that are based on The Ryder Cup is a great example of how the whole of Wales, and all generations, are benefiting by hosting the event in Wales later this year. After a lifetime of pleasure from golf it is thrilling to see the game being used in our schools to motivate and enthuse our children in a whole variety of disciplines.”

Councillor Evans said: “This project not only demonstrates the excellent working relationship between Newport City Council and The European Tour, but also highlights the creativity and capacity for hard work we have in our education service and in schools across the city.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the teachers and LEA staff who have put in long hours to ensure this project could go ahead. And I’d also like to thank The European Tour, for supporting Newport City Council in developing this project with The Ryder Cup branding.”

David Rees, head teacher of St Julian’s Primary School, said: “The children have enjoyed learning a whole range of skills using the new material devised by teachers in Newport to accompany The 2010 Ryder Cup. The work has given them a sense of pride in Newport and a greater knowledge of their home city.”

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