Football Tour to St George’s Park

Published 11 January 2024

At the start of the Christmas holidays, students from Years 10 and 11 on a went on three-day inspirational Football tour of St George’s Park, home to England’s 24 national teams and England Football Learning, set in 330 acres of Staffordshire countryside. Here’s how they got on

We arrived just before noon and went straight into the hotel on site for lunch. The hotel food proved to be extremely popular with both students and staff throughout the tour as it was amazing. Many students (and staff!) went up numerous times!

After lunch, the students got to experience a two and a half hour coaching session and a tour of the facilities at St George’s Park, including the England Boot Room, which is where all the players put their boots on before training. Students then trained on the indoor pitch, which the professionals use whilst being coached by FA qualified coaches.

Once the session had finished, one group went to check-in to their rooms, whilst the other group experienced the hydrotherapy pool. Players will go here after training or matches, and if they’re injured, for some recovery. The students used two pools, one a normal temperature where they could play water polo and one that was 16 degrees (which seems warm – it was not!), also known as ‘freezing cold’ and that led to a jacuzzi where it was much warmer. The groups then swapped over before dinner. In the evening, the students took part in St Bart’s’ Got Talent but unfortunately not much talent was on show, though we must mention Scarlett, the magician, and the dancing Santas, who won the best two acts on the night. A quiz of the year then took place before going to bed after a very long, but exciting day.

The following morning, we all met for breakfast before participating in another coaching session, which took place on the David Beckham pitch. This happens to be Miss Ostinelli’s favourite player ever, so she was extremely excited to get a picture there.

We then got on the coach to the University of Derby where we played another school in a fixture. We had three teams, an U16 boys’ team, an U15 boys’ team and an U16 girls’ team. Each team played a team from De Ferrers Academy in Derby. All three teams lost their games but played brilliantly and enjoyed the whole experience. Unfortunately, it poured down throughout the afternoon whilst playing, so it was back to the hotel to change, have dinner and recharge before going out again in the evening. After dinner, we went bowling and had a great time – some high scores were achieved, with a few students getting higher than the staff!

On the final morning, everybody had breakfast before the last, which was the use of a conti pitch, 5-a-side size and very similar to a 4G pitch. We organised a tournament between ourselves but it was extremely windy, so the conditions were very difficult to play in. On the way home on the coach, we handed out our Tour Awards. Each team had three awards up for grabs: Player of the Tour, Person of the Tour and Funniest Moment of the Tour. Congratulations to all winners below:

U16 Boys: Joe, Elliott and Alex

U15 Boys: Max, Kobi and Patrick

U16 Girls: Scarlett, Evie and Anna

Overall, it was an incredible experience, with so much fun had by all. The students were a huge credit to the school, behaved impeccably and represented us with pride. A huge thank you to Miss Bilcliff, Miss Ostinelli, Mr Bandy and Mr Fry for giving up their time to take the students on the tour.