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  • Saturday was a day never to forget for the pupils from Oakgrove School as they took part in the curtain raiser match before the clash for the Calcutta cup between England and Scotland. Oakgrove Year 7 rugby team wore their bespoke blue, green and white Canterbury jerseys as designed by the pupils with pride on Saturday as they played against Oasis academy from Hampshire on the hallowed Twickenham turf before heading back into the changing rooms and rubbing shoulder with many past and present players. The pinnacle of the afternoon was being stood in the tunnel where the likes of Martin Johnsons and Johnny Wilkinson have stored soaking up the atmosphere of the caldron just ahead. The team then confidently walked out to the roars of the English and Scottish fans and made the guard of honour for both International teams to pass through before a very vocal rendition of the National Anthem. The fantastic day didn’t end there with the team, some of which have never experienced a match of this magnitude before, having front row seats to watch England beat Scotland in a nail biting game.

    Oakgrove were lucky enough to experience this opportunity due to the work they are doing with the RFU. The RFU All schools programme is aiming to enhance the quality of rugby across Milton Keynes in the Build up to the 2015 Rugby world Cup. Oakgrove have been fully submerged into the All Schools Programme which is proving very popular and creating a great buzz around the school. Ben Robinson Head Rugby Coach at Oakgrove says “Saturday was a very proud and monumentous day for all pupils and staff from Oakgrove, the All Schools Programme has open up many doors from the most simplest of resources such as rugby balls to being on the field and part of the England vs Scotland 6 nations game. We have been able to establish a dedicated group of players across all KS 3 year groups allowing for rugby to be embedded into the school’s curriculum”.

    The programme has allowed Oakgrove to develop and more importantly sustain an ethos and a desire amongst pupils to play and enjoy rugby. The direct impact has been substantial with improved delivery in lesson with the implementation of CPD session for staff through the rugby ready and scrum factory courses, this has resulted in rugby being taught across both boys and girls in KS3, and the development of successful boys and girls teams. The coaching programme has been delivered via qualified RFU coach Kieran Duffin who’s proactive approach has allowed pupils to regularly attend extracurricular clubs to refine the skills they have be taught in lessons.  As a result we have had 10% of the school population active in afterschool rugby through a variety of forms and over 550 pupils receiving direct tuition via the All Schools Programme in curriculum time. This drive as allowed greater links between clubs to be established and we have seen an increase in the number of young people playing the game and joining local clubs and progress though to county teams. 

    This is an opportunity of a lifetime for Oakgrove to play at Twickenham in the curtain raiser; it is an experience that will create emotions and memories the team will never forget. 

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