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Want to start an afterschool club -how to go about it?

(9 Posts)
schoolvolunteer Tue 04-Mar-14 19:36:32

We would like to start an after-school art club for the kids in my children's primary school. There are a few of us, one is an ex-art teacher and me and my friend are quite crafty-types who would be enthusiastic helpers.

Now we obviously need to sound out the the Head as to whether they approve of the idea, can provide access to a classroom and the situation regarding security clearance (the ex-teacher has a PVG?). We thought we might charge a token 50p/£1 per pupil per class to cover materials and get a rota of about 10 interested parents (hopefully!) who could help out on a regular basis.

Does anyone have any experience of doing this? Are we mad for even thinking it would work?!!

We are going to see the Head next week and will have some ideas of the kind of activities we would do (nothing too messy or requiring storage) - am wondering whether they'll be in favour or whether we will be discouraged - time will tell I guess!

Any tips will be gratefully received!

starfishmummy Tue 04-Mar-14 19:57:18

There are two ways to go about this I think. One is that it is done as an official school club and you go through the head/governors and have to accept any conditions they want.

Or you could just book a room at the school - so you are paying rent to them, but you are completely separate and can set your own terms - so for instance you could agree to have children who go to a different school. This may give you more freedom to operate as you wish but would probably he more expensive as rent can be dear and all you would get would be access to a room with tables and chairs and toilets.

monopoly123 Tue 04-Mar-14 20:04:03

I do an after school club on a voluntary basis - I had to have the crb checks which the school paid for and I have a teacher with me, which I asked for as I felt severly lacking in the teacher side; although sometimes its a TA/other assistant that is more familiar to the children. I've been doing it for a year now and I felt it filled a gap in the after school program/national curriculum. The head was enthusiastic.
It's very rewarding.
Tips - with it being an after school club try and give the children a free reign to explore if you can. Always expect tidy up to take longer and then if you have time to spare you can have a chat about what they did and what they'd change next time. We split the group into 2x15s so they can share with the other half of the class. It's usually - register, 5-15mins chat about what we're doing, doing, then 5mins quick chat at the end.

UniS Wed 05-Mar-14 08:17:04

I run an after school sports club as a parent volunteer. I approached the head teacher with a proposal including what, where, how many children of what ages, what it needed from the school and a risk assessment. I have a first aid qualification and am CRB checked by the school. I run the club alone but there are teachers on site while the club is running. It runs on the playground so is in public view.

rollonthesummer Wed 05-Mar-14 09:13:39

A few questions..

Would it be a 'free childcare' type of club (obviously you said £1 per session)? When would it run until? 6pm? What would you do if parents were late collecting?

Would you be running the club every evening for no financial gain? V commendable but would you want to do this long term? If you're getting parents on a rota to help-would they be paid? What if they dropped out/their child was ill and couldn't come? Who would ensure the adult/child ratio?

How would you allocate places? Would you guarantee the parents on the rota's children got a place? With younger siblings? If you didn't, they wouldn't be able to help maybe. How many places would there be.

Sounds interesting but I would imagine the school would have lots of questions. Our after school club charges £6 and then £20 if you are late collecting.

I would imagine if the three of you do it unpaid on your own, that's hard work and what's your inventive? If you want 10 parents to run it for free forever for goodwill, it may be that it falls apart.

Elibean Wed 05-Mar-14 09:36:17

Three of us at dds' school are starting a Book Club shortly. We talked to the Head and Deputy Head, who were both enthusiastic - and the class teachers of the years we would invite to join.

We found we needed more planning that we'd originally thought, but other than that the plans are steaming ahead. We're definitely planning on keeping it small to start with, and offering it for half a term at a time so we can roll it out to others if there turns out to be a waiting list (also so kids can change their minds, and so that we can make changes each half term to adapt as needed).

Ours will be free, with books donated by the PTA and handed on to future book clubs, so we had to sort the finance side of things out - but you've already thought that one through. Will you charge per class? Or per half term? All those details just need pinning down, though can always be changed after a while!

I think you're far from mad, and it sounds wonderful. Good luck, hope you have lots of fun smile

rollonthesummer Wed 05-Mar-14 09:39:27

Doh-I just read your post properly and you said Art after school club! I read it as just an after school club-ignore most of my reply!

Asteria Wed 05-Mar-14 10:00:43

I used to run an after school art/craft club at DS's school. It was quite informal but they insisted on it being paid for so it wasn't abused as free childcare - also the expenses of producing a finished item each week (they lose momentum and get v bored if a project drags for more than 2 weeks maximum) means you have to charge something. I charged £2.50 which provided all materials plus drinks and a biscuit or two to keep them going.
One thing I did find was that it was very difficult to match projects with a mixed group spanning Reception to Year 6, so I eventually split and did two clubs on different nights for reception/y1/y2 and y3-y6. All the children had sketch books they could take home, which were great for when they finished before others and needed to fill some time before end of club. We had an exhibition of their main works at the end of each half term (which I would have kept in the meantime)and then the children could show the school and their parents what they had done - it was so lovely to see how proud they were.
All school required from me was a plan each half term so teachers could see if any of my projects clashed with theirs.

schoolvolunteer Wed 05-Mar-14 18:41:32

Thanks everyone all good food for thought! We are going to visit another after-school clubin the area and see how they operate too. Lots to think about!

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