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The Norfolk school which will be rooting for South Africa's cup squad

PUBLISHED: 18:00 16 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:20 01 July 2010

South Africa's World Cup captain Aaron Mokoena on a recent visit to Hellesdon High.

South Africa's World Cup captain Aaron Mokoena on a recent visit to Hellesdon High.

Peter Walsh

Most schoolboys and girls will be hoping England win the World Cup this summer - but pupils at one school have developed a soft spot for another nation in the biggest football tournament on earth.

Most schoolboys and girls will be hoping England win the World Cup this summer - but pupils at one school have developed a soft spot for another nation in the biggest football tournament on earth.

Earlier this year South African skipper Aaron Mokoena paid a visit to Hellesdon High School as the school held its own version of the World Cup.

And it seems as if Mr Mokoena's guest appearance at the Middleton's Lane-based school back in April has rubbed off on the pupils who have been struck down by World Cup fever.

Alastair Ogle, deputy head of the school, said staff and pupils alike have been boosted by the star's visit and have developed an increased interest in the host nation.

He said: “The interest has risen, certainly with Aaron Mokoena's visit. They are now making sure they are looking to see how South Africa and Aaron are getting on as they know him. It raised their level of interest in another country.”

In fact the visit has not only sparked attention in South Africa but in the World Cup as well, with the tournament proving a catalyst for learning at the school.

Mr Ogle said: “It's in so many lessons in terms of using it as a tool to engage students. We've been using it in ICT lessons where people have been looking at statistics from the World Cup and in geography students have been looking at individual countries taking part in the World Cup and looking at the history of these countries. It's using the World Cup as a tool to engage students' interest even further across lessons.”

The school will be looking to screen some of the games during the tournament - giving pupils the chance to watch the games with their friends.

Mr Ogle said England's final Group C clash with Slovenia on June 23, which kicks off at 3pm, is one of the games to be screened at the school.

He said: “School finishes at 2.50pm which means that while students are on their way home they could be missing some of the football so we will put on refreshments and things here so they can watch it on the big screen.”

For the next few weeks Evening News reporter Peter Walsh will be World Cup Walshy in a bid to uncover Norwich-related stories about the feast of football that is the World Cup.

Are you travelling out to South Africa to cheer on Fabio Capello's team, or are you organising an event in Norwich to celebrate the world's greatest footballing tournament?

If so, or if you have pictures from South Africa, or any other World Cup themed events, then get in touch with World Cup Walshy by calling 01603 772436 or emailing peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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