The life-skill components of the programme have been organised under the following headings:
- Personal Understanding (Intra-personal & cognitive skills) including self-confidence, self-respect, self-awareness, self-control, self-reliance, cognitive thinking, decision making, and growth mindset.
- Relationships (Interpersonal Skills) including assertiveness, empathy, communication, and relationship skills.
- Wider World (Active Citizen Skills) including self-actualisation, optimism, adaptability, leadership skills and development awareness.
- Health & Safety (Healthy Lifestyle Skills) including physical activity, mindfulness, healthy decision making, nutritional choices, good hygiene, and personal safety.
Football can function as a school for life where lessons learned on the football field can be intentionally transferred to other aspects of a child or young person’s life.
Football for Schools makes that intentional connection by focusing on one life skill during each session and providing an opportunity during the closing circle for young people to reflect, discuss and think critically about how the life skill impacts them on and off the football pitch.
Just as the football activities in the Football for Schools sessions have been designed to be age appropriate so have the life skills. Each session has an intended learning outcome for a life skill that sits alongside the intended learning outcome for football. Players are introduced to the learning outcome during the opening circle, are asked questions around the life skill during the practical football activities and take part in participatory exercises during the closing circle that encourage discussion and critical thinking around the life skill topic.
Coach-educators deliver life skills education through the Football for Schools programme by:
- Introducing the life skill topic and outcome during the opening circle
- Asking open questions during the opening circle to assess the players understanding of the life skill
- Asking questions during the session that might raise players awareness of the life-skill whilst they are practicing football skills
- Converting what happens on the football field where appropriate as a teachable moment where you take a short time out from the activity to reflect on what happened and encourage players to discuss and think critically about the moment
- Using the closing circle as an opportunity to reflect on the football activity and the life skill and using participatory methods to encourage discussion and critical thinking