Literacy support is one of the four key pillars of the Premier League Primary Stars programme. It is increasing in popularity as a result of the charity using the power of the club’s badge to inspire ambition and increase aspiration through the connection of literacy learning to the real world.

Burnley FC in the Community, the Premier League and the National Literacy Trust deliver PL Reading Stars as a part of the Literacy strand of the PL Primary Stars programme. The scheme aims to stimulate literacy engagement in children aged 5-11 years who love football, or sport in general, but lack motivation in reading, writing and the spoken word.

Premier League Reading Stars (PLRS) is a 10-week literacy intervention designed to be delivered in schools, libraries and football clubs.

PLRS evaluation has shown that the programme can have a significant impact on attainment and attitude. The National Literacy Trust and the Premier League have worked in partnership since 2003 to create this evidence-based programme.

Programme Impact

Premier League Reading Stars builds on evidence that football and sport can influence the way young people view reading, particularly among boys and those on free school meals.

Full reports for PLRS are available on the National Literacy Trust website, where you can also read case studies.

What is Premier League Reading Stars achieving?

Who can take part in PLRS?

At BFCitC, the programme is suitable for primary schools who cater for the needs of some children who struggle to reach the expected levels of literacy but are also passionate about football and sport.

What is included in this programme?

The 10-week programme is split into ‘fixtures’ that embody a variety of literacy-based topics that aim to increase in complexity gradually and fluidly, with a view to providing insight into topics that children will take with them on the next steps of their learning journey.

Fixture 1 – Kick-off

  • Introduction of the Premier League Reading Stars (PLRS) programme.
  • Discussing the purpose of reading and the different types of texts that are available to read.

Fixture 2 – Five-a-side

  • Introduction of the five finger rule to help them select the most appropriate book.
  • Recommending a text to their peers using the concept of a star, a wish and a wonder.

Fixture 3 – Reading the game

  • Using tools to comprehend a text and discuss it with their peers effectively.
  • Three key skills needed for comprehension: predicting, clarifying and questioning.

Fixture 4 – In the news

  • To read and understand a range of newspaper articles and headlines relating to football.
  • Understand and question the content using the ‘four Ws’ (what, who, when and where).

Fixture 5 – Player profile

  • Reading magazines and the impact that they have on the reader and the subject.
  • Difference between facts and opinions and being able to identify them in text.

Fixture 6 – Home page

  • Learn about the range of information available online including websites and blogging.
  • Evaluate online texts effectively whilst learning to use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly.

Fixture 7 – Team talk

  • Creating a ‘role on the wall’ to describe the two protagonists in the scene.
  • Pupils will then use the scene in a number of role play activities including thought-tracking.

Fixture 8 – Hot seat heroes

  • To understand how different people are affected by a positive event in football through characters’ feelings, thoughts and motives from their actions. This is done by using evidence in videos and texts and demonstrating their understanding of this through a ‘hot seat’ speaking and listening activity.

Fixture 9 – Poetry slam

  • Explore a range of poetry including football songs and performance poetry.
  • Prepare and perform a football poem in a group and encourage using intonation, tone, volume and actions to demonstrate meaning.

Fixture 10 – Pass it on

  • Pupils evaluate the programme and present on what they have learnt.

Support from home

Parents and other family members can support children’s literacy by reading selected PLRS books at home with their children and logging onto at home. We also recommend visiting to find book recommendations, activities and tips.

For more information about our Premier League Primary Stars programme, please contact our Head of Primary School Engagement, Brianne Turner, on or 01282 704716.