This week saw Year 9 boys take part in one of the world’s most famous football derbies as they emulated ‘Le Classique’ between Paris St. Germain (PSG) and Olympique de Marseille (OM).

Supported by some of the school’s Year 12s taking Level 3 Sport in our Sixth Form , 23 boys from Year 9 played two matches in an hour-long after-school session. PSG eventually came out on top, and the boys enjoyed a thrilling penalty shoot-out to decide the final game which had ended in a 2-2 draw.

Highlights included a superb brace scored by Kylian Mbappé (Tommy Roberts) and a pile-driver from Mauro Icardi (Harvey Short) in a 4-3 win for PSG against a determined OM side.

However, OM had better luck after the break with Steve Mandanda (Fin Alderson) making some great saves between the sticks and Dimitri Payet (Ewan Hurcombe) running hard in midfield. Payet later scored an outstanding penalty giving the keeper no chance as it went in off the bar.

The event, designed to promote boys’ engagement with the French language, is part of the Friary School’s Recovery Curriculum following the disruption experienced by students from the Coronavirus lockdowns.

Matt Allman, Headteacher, said: “ “It was brilliant to see so many of our Year 9 boys enjoying themselves while also learning about the biggest match in French football. I would like to thank all those involved in putting on the event, particularly our Sixth Form students who stayed after school to make this event a memorable one. Boys’ engagement with French is an area we are really focssing on as more and more students take the subject at GCSE. We are really keen to show the value of learning a second language, whether that is through the advantage it provides in getting a job, being accepted to university or being able to travel abroad to experience matches like ‘La Classique’ first-hand.”