Watch as Sunderland children celebrate England’s superb 6-2 World Cup win over Iran

Children across the city swapped their normal school day for match of the day as lessons went on hold for pupils to revel in England’s 6-2 victory over Iran in their opening World Cup match in Qatar.

With England’s Group B game scheduled for a 1pm kick off, a number of schools decided to let pupils watch the match on giant screens while also embracing the World Cup theme with children designing flags and strips, learning about the Geography of the countries involved and enjoying football coaching in their PE lessons.

Plains Farm Academy decorated their entrance hall with the Cross of St George, while pupils and teachers alike wore England strips and colours and waved their flags in anticipation of kick off.

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Deputy headteacher Andy Hunter said: “A lot of the pupils were really keen to watch the match and so we gave them the option of being able to do this or take part in an Arts and Crafts lesson based around the World Cup. The tournament only comes around once every four years and watching the match with their peers is an experience they will remember from their childhood for the rest of their lives.”

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It was a shared experience which was certainly enjoyed – in part thanks to the win – by pupils at the school.

Nial Barrass, 11, said: “I really enjoyed being able to watch the match in school with my friends and it was really exciting when we scored. There are other good teams in the tournament but we will definitely get through the group stage and hopefully win the cup.”

Steven Wilkinson, 11, added: “It was a great game and I’m confident England can go on and win the World Cup. After today’s game, hopefully we can go on a winning streak. My favourite England player is Harry Kane.”

Plains Farm Academy pupils celebrate England's World Cup win.

Amelia Cooney, 10, added: “When England scored I was jumping up and down and cheering. I’m not sure if we will win it, but hopefully we can carry on and do well after the Euro’s final.”

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After the success of the Lionesses, including our very own Jill Scott, in this summer’s European Championships, Hasting Hill Academy were also keen for pupils to be able to watch their heroes.

Year 6 teacher and PE lead, Martin Jones, said: “After the success of the Lionesses, we wanted the children to have the chance to watch their role models and hopefully be inspired to want to emulate them in the future.

"The fact we won obviously helped, but the children really enjoyed the game and a number of children who don’t normally follow football really seemed to get into it.”

Pupils showing their support at the start of the game.
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One of those was Ashton Douglas, 11, who said: “I don’t normally watch football, but I really enjoyed the game and I am going to watch the rest of the tournament.

"I also enjoyed learning about my country, Mexico, and the different types of food they eat.”

The final whistle saw jubilant scenes with pupils jumping around and singing ‘come on England’.

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Tension builds at Plains Farm Academy as the game is about to kick off.

Bailey Forrest, 11, said: “I enjoyed watching the game in school with my friends as I got to scream out loud when we scored without being told off by my mam for being too loud.

"I think we have a better squad than last time and I’m confident we can win the World Cup.”

Alfie Shepherd, 10, who was dressed in full England kit, said: “I was jumping all over when we scored and hopefully we can go on and win the World Cup.”

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Evie Scother, 11, added: “It was good to win the first game as we had been on a bit of a losing streak.”

A near miss.
Plains Farm Academy pupils watching England's first World Cup game together.
An anxious moment for Plains Farm Academy pupil Nial Barrass.
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Hasting Hill Academy pupils show their support for England.
Hasting Hill Academy pupil Ashton Douglas celebrates an England goal.
Hasting Hill Academy pupils celebrate another England goal.
Hasting Hill Academy pupils watching the first England World Cup game against Iran.