The Cornish Pirates’ Learning Zone

Learning Zone

The Cornish Pirates' Learning Zone


The Cornish Pirates’ Learning Zone is now closed


The Pirates’ Learning Zone was part of national programme, Playing for Success, which started in 1997 as a partnership between Premiership Football and the DfE.

The withdrawal of funding from Government led the Learning Zone and Cornish Pirates to seek external partners prepared to support the provision. As Humphry Davy had built a reputation for external partnerships with community investment there was a mutual agreement for continuation of service.

Using the environment and medium of sport as a motivational tool, the centre is set up to help raise literacy, numeracy and ICT standards and increase confidence and self-esteem in pupils underachieving in these key skills and who are often demotivated.

Each centre is run by an experienced teacher and is equipped with state of the art IT facilities.

Since then the centre has worked with over 1,000 children selected by their schools and has seen tremendous result in raising self-esteem, confidence and academic standards.

The satellite CPLZ classroom is at the Mennaye Field, Penzance, which is used by over 60 pupils per term from local schools. Also, the facilities are used the teaching of certain other programmes, such as art and media, for the benefit of gifted children.

Facilities and equipment really are outstanding, enabling pupils to gain a great deal when attending a course at the CPLZ.

In the far west, children from Alverton, St Buryan, Newlyn, St Mary's Cof E and Pensans Schools have attended the Penzance site. All of the pupils use available technology in a wide range of lessons. This can vary from composing a motivational song for the Pirates players to run onto the pitch, to making animated films, as well as 'building' their own stadiums using computer resources following a tour of the historical Mennaye based in Penzance.

The Verdict

Headteacher Ian Fellows, Gulval

We have had considerable support from the PLZ over the years and we are very grateful that Humphry Davy provided the funding so that PLZ could continue this year.  We have been involved with many projects over the years.

Two memorable projects in the last 6 months were the transition group in July 2010 and Study Support September 2010.

The skills obtained by the transition group in creating a film of their experiences at Gulval School will live long in the memories of pupils and staff. 

The technology that the children used and mastered in the filming event was very well received in our leavers assembly and will remain as a constant reminder to ourselves and our pupils in future years. 

It would also help future leavers of the school to allay any fears that they may have in transition to Secondary School.

The pupils who attended the Study Support sessions this term have come back to school and embraced their learning with vigour, they have transferred the skills that they have obtained at the PLZ with Kevin and his team admirably. 

The Safe Social Networking skills picked up by the pupils are having a huge benefit in our school.  The pupils are feeding back to their peers regularly and have learned a lot about the dangers of social networking sites. 

Part of the study support process was to enthuse the learners in their education, pupils who attended the sessions have come back to school with renewed motivation for education and are achieving well.

‘Yet again the Pirates’ Learning Zone has provided the children of St Erth with a superb platform for increasing their self esteem and confidence. The motivation of your staff has had an undoubted impact on the children.’

‘Since attending the Pirates we have noticed a great improvement in Bethany’s confidence at home and in school. She has really enjoyed attending.’

Charlie’s confidence has grown and his sense of achievement has meant that he has enjoyed attending very much.’

‘Oliver has thoroughly enjoyed the course and didn’t want to miss a session. He talked about everything he did and especially enjoyed the rugby. Thank you very much. ’

‘I think the Pirates’ Learning Zone is SO COOL’ I want to come again’


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