A Milton Keynes school claims football-themed literacy and numeracy lessons for Year 8 boys are helping to drive up standards.
The Buckingham School is implementing the Milton Keynes Dons Double Club programme.
The scheme consists of one hour of football-themed study support followed by one hour of football coaching.
Of 28, 12 to 13-year-old boys taking part, 82% have improved their literacy skills by one sub level in six weeks.
The Double Club concept began at Arsenal Football Club in 2000 and the MK Dons currently have three clubs running across the region and plans for several more based within secondary schools.
In addition, the first primary Double Club will be piloted at a school in Milton Keynes from September.
Dean Dixon, education manager at the MK Dons Sports and Education Trust, said: "In the maths sessions we try and apply [it] to football wherever possible.
"If it's a simple question about fractions, putting Wayne Rooney's name in makes it more real.
"If you ask 'if Wayne Rooney scored nine goals in how ever many games, what's that a fraction of?', then that suddenly becomes interesting."
Deputy head James Rogers, who introduced the programme to the specialist sports college, said it was really helping to improve standards across the school.
"As a specialist sports college, we are keen to build upon our specialism to engage students and the MK Dons Double Club Programme is proving to be extremely successful.
"I think what we've done really well is we've embraced it and we've started to embed some of the stuff we've done from the Double Club across the school.
"We use sport a lot to motivate young people. What we try and instil is hard work, teamwork and good communications, and that having those ethics will actually help with your schoolwork because those skills that you get from sport are generic in learning."