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PL Primary Stars

Five years of PL Primary Stars: Stephanie's story

22 Jun 2022

How Charlton Athletic and PL programme helped a mother of two back to teaching with confidence

As part of the Premier League celebrating five years of Premier League Primary Stars, clubs running the school programme have nominated a "Superstar" - a young person or teacher who has inspired others through their dedication to the scheme, enthusiasm and own personal development.

Stephanie (Charlton Athletic)

Returning to work after maternity leave is a daunting prospect for many women, including Stephanie Baker, a primary school teacher and a mother of two.

The anxieties about self-worth, staff changes, possible new responsibilities and duties are among issues that can be a real concern for teachers returning from a long absence.

Steph's smooth transition back to her role as PE Lead at Alderwood Primary School in Eltham, southeast London, was helped by Premier League Primary Stars and Charlton Athletic Community Trust's (CACT) Premier League Programme Officer, Anthony Quarm.

"I had just come back from maternity leave, and for anyone who has worked from home with two children for seven years, your confidence level is not brilliant," says Steph. "Anthony provided me with that level of confidence."

Exceptional progress

Any worries Steph had were swiftly eased by her exceptional personal progress and as well as delivering PE she is a part of CACT's project to create a PE working group to support other teachers.

Anthony has seen Steph's confidence develop and the positive impact that has had on her students.

PL Primary Stars assist Stephanie's return to work

"I'm very proud of the work Steph is doing," says Anthony, "It's brilliant to see how the children are responding - laughing and also taking part.

"We offer our support to teachers. A lot of the impact we do, we hope will build a lifelong love of PE and sport for young kids.

"In areas of high deprivation where young people may not have such access to certain activities, we are able to provide that. The impact we have seen through this programme is absolutely extensive."

Making a difference

Steph's outstanding work via Premier League Primary Stars and CACT has been recognised with her Superstar award, an honour which has made her even more determined to continue making a difference.

"To be named as Premier League Superstar is a very humbling experience," she says. "It's lovely to be recognised and will keep me driving our enthusiasm at the school and to keep those links going with the Premier League."

"[PL Primary Stars] knocks down all kinds of boundaries. There is the capacity for huge issues within our society to be changed. We are pushing against racism, we are pushing for gender equality.

"If we bring sport into the conversations we have within school, through sport so much can be changed."

About PL Primary Stars

CACT have been engaging with Premier League Primary Stars since the very start of the programme, while Charlton are one of 105 professional football clubs from across the leagues working in partnership with the Premier League.

PL Primary Stars provides teachers and parents with free downloadable resources across a range of curriculum subjects at Key Stage 1 (ages 5-7 years) and Key Stage 2 (ages 7-11 years).

"The funding that is provided by the Premier League is absolutely crucial," adds Katie Cutajar, Headteacher, Alderwood Primary School.

"It really will have a lifelong impact and change for our children." 

The resources, which are free, have been developed for teachers by teachers, and in collaboration with experts such as the National Literacy Trust and the PSHE Association.

Visit for more information.

Also in this series

Part 1: Premier League celebrates five years of PL Primary Stars
Part 2: William's story (Leicester City)
Part 3: Harry's story (Forest Green Rovers)
Part 5: Faizan's story (Burnley)
Part 6: Godolphin Academy's story
Part 7: Freya's story (Newport County)
Part 8: Delia's story (Everton)

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