2023 was a big year for Australian rules football growing its presence in schools across the country, with the AFL's suite of learning resources reaching more teachers and students than ever before.
Among the highlights from 2023:
- 1.19 million students engaged in AFL Schools programs and competitions, an increase of eight per cent year-on-year
- 11,086 teachers part of the AFL Schools Membership Community, an increase of 480 per cent year-on-year
- 32 per cent of schools in Australia engaged in an AFL Schools program or competition, up four per cent year-on-year
- A 480 per cent increase in traffic to the AFL's dedicated online home for schools, afl/schools
After such significant growth in the AFL Schools program and with the increased investment towards education materials a focus for the AFL, teachers are encouraged to check out the suite of offerings and what works for them and their students for both in the classroom and on the sporting grounds.
In late 2022 the AFL, in conjunction with Australian education agency Kimberlin Education, launched an all-new set of free, online curriculum resources to support primary schools across Australia, bolstering the game's commitment to growing Australian rules football in primary school-aged classrooms and playing fields across the country.
With school students returning to classrooms around the country as the summer break concludes, the focus for teachers and educators turns to the academic year ahead and the learning resources at their disposal.
The AFL Schools program has expanded to now cover both primary and secondary learning and is available at play.afl/schools.
The program makes physical football activities more accessible and easier to deliver, while also increasing classroom-based educational outcomes with a suite of free, online curriculum resources.
Francesca Ciavola, Classroom Teacher at Wattle Glen Primary School in Victoria, said: "As a teacher, I am thrilled to share my recent discovery of the AFL Schools program and its invaluable resources. Embracing this innovative approach that includes assessment tools, is a game-changer for teachers, particularly Heath and Physical Education staff."
Sarah Coloe, HPE teacher, Laurimar Primary School, said: "The program's in-depth lesson plans and engaging support materials empowers teachers to create a more dynamic and engaging learning environment for students. And not to mention it is all aligned to the curriculum! The emphasis on formative assessment allows teachers to better understand individual student needs and tailor instruction accordingly.
"The AFL Schools resources not only foster a collaborative classroom culture but also provide insightful data to inform instructional decisions. This newfound tool will surely re-ignite teachers' passion for teaching, making the learning experience richer and more meaningful for both students and teachers."
AFL National Schools Lead, Mark Morgan, said: "The AFL has focused on developing a suite of resources that leverage the power of the game of Australian rules football to have a positive impact on students across Australia.
"The materials are targeted at what teachers need to effectively engage students and importantly, are aligned to the curriculum and freely available.
"It was really pleasing to see the AFL Schools program grow tremendously in 2023 and we're looking forward to getting even more teachers and students involved in the program in 2024 and beyond."