Rugby League Reads
The National Rugby League, through the One Community Program, has introduced a series of Rugby League Reads initiatives for Primary Schools to highlight the importance of reading.
- The aims of the resources are to:
• Engage students in reading by using their interest in Rugby League;
• Provide teachers with practical and quality Syllabus linked Rugby League based literacy resources which can be used authentically in a literacy program;
• To breakdown common stereotypes that sport stars, especially Rugby League men, do not need or like to read; and
• Provide positive messages about reading and the reading ontogenesis of players without players physically needing to go to the schools to deliver a program, allowing equal access to all students and teachers.
There are three aspects to the program - Rugby League Reads Magazine and teacher resource, Rugby League home readers, and A research program.
RUGBY LEAGUE READS MAGAZINE AND TEACHER RESOURCE
The Rugby League Reads magazine includes a range of texts taught in Primary Schools including factual and literary texts, with the focus on Rugby League as key reading content. An issue of the magazine will be released to schools in NSW, ACT, Qld and Victoria in Term Two, Three and Four. All sixteen clubs are represented in each issue through a specific text as well as a focus on each club’s Reading Captain. As well as the magazine, complimenting teacher activities and resources for each club’s text type has been created. Teachers will be able to use the Rugby League Reads magazine and accompanying teacher resources in their daily Literacy Block in a variety of different ways focusing on reading, writing and grammar. The activities will be underpinned with philosophical frameworks and theories commonly used at schools, including Bloom’s Taxonomy and Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences as well as incorporating key Boy’s Education strategies and research.
Using the club mascots and various Rugby League players and captains, the books will be used for early readers in the first three years of Primary School. These books will allow early readers to read about Rugby League and their favourite clubs and players, whilst engaging with text and practicing reading strategies. The NRL will print and self publish eight home readers which are pitched at different reading levels and incorporate different focus themes. These professional home readers can be used as class readers or home readers and feature NRL mascots, Team Captains, Healthy Eating, Overview of the Game of Rugby League and plenty more. All nine readers can be ordered on the website at www.nrl.com. All profits from the sales of these Rugby League Reads Home Readers will be used to fund more NRL Reading Resources for schools and will support the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation.
In 2010, a team of researchers at the Australian Catholic University are researching the benefits of the Rugby League Reads Resources in ten NSW schools. The ten schools will include public, independent and Catholic schools and will involve principals, teachers, parents and students in Years 3-6. Pre and post tests through questionnaires as focus group interviews will be conducted in all ten schools involved and two schools will be specific case study schools with classroom observations and analysis of the classroom program.
The purpose of the research is to evaluate:
-The impact of the NRL based reading resources on the attitudes of primary students towards reading and/ or interests in sports such as Rugby League;
- The shift in student engagement in literacy activities when using interest based texts and tasks such as Rugby League Reads resources;
- The responsiveness of male and female students to the Rugby League Reads materials compared to traditionally based classroom texts;
- Whether Rugby League Reads resources motivate both boys and girls to want to read voluntarily; - Any shifts in reading habits both at school and at home, following the implementation of Rugby League Reads resources;
- The significance and variety of the activities embedded within the Rugby League Reads Teacher Resource kit impacts on student learning outcomes; - The effectiveness of the implementation of the Rugby League Reads resources;
- Whether resources such as Rugby League Reads magazines provide schools with quality additional literacy materials which are valued by teachers and students as a tool to develop literacy skills; and - The sustainability of a model of literacy to engage primary school students, especially boys.