Afterschool activities(11 Posts)
I am currently a primary school teacher and would just like to know everyone's thoughts on afterschool activities? I feel that there is a lack of activities out there that actually engage and stimulate children to think about their wider learning that can not frequently fit into daily school life such as learning about STEM subjects or learning a new language. From my experience when children do get to do these things they really enjoy it and I think it could be a great thing for parents and children to do together. It would also be a great way of parents being able to discuss children's work, progress and homework as I understand that sometimes work that children take home or talk about is often very different to the way that most of us learnt at school and it can be quite confusing! Just wondered what everyone thought of it as I think it would be something quite helpful and more rewarding if done in a fun way than perhaps other afterschool clubs where children do not actually learn anything new.
Love to hear what people think about this.
Would you have lots of parents available after school? I tend to agree with you but some people firmly believe children should play/chill out. When my DD was at prep school, they could go to two after school activities which were included in the fees. My DD was always keen on art type ones but other children liked the sport and computer club. My elder DD did a bit of French at an after school club (state school) but then the tutor got a proper job and it ceased. I think state schools have relatively short days and some subjects are rather pushed to one side. Prep schools do not do this so some parents may like the idea of an after school club where there was a learning input. However don't forget some children will also need time to do music, dance, drama, sport, homework, eat and play! Check with your parents.
Until there's more sporting activity in primary schools, I cannot begin to see the point, to my mind kids need more activity, not less - aerobic fitness and academic success being so linked. So after for after school clubs, investing in ones that get you fit makes sense.
Yes, I fully understand what you mean about children having lots of other things to do as a year 1 teacher I understand they need lots of play! This is why I was thinking once a week or so so not too overbearing and it would be tailored to what children are interested in etc to keep it as fun as possible.
Thank you for your opinion!
In Yr1, it was enough for mine to go to school (+ breakfast club + after school care) and do swimming lessons once a week, if I'm honest - they just didn't need lots of "extra learning" on top of the 6 hours (+OoSC) they already spent at school.
As they got older - I know you said you teach Yr1, but maybe you are thinking about older dc in the school?), then any 'extra' learning needed to be physically active stuff. My dc were lucky enough to go to a school with lots and lots of sports on offer, which was great. Sitting to do more 'work' - not so much so.
I also think it's nice to do your 'activities' away from school if possible, so, as well as doing the activity, it introduces you to a whole different friendship group as well. that might be Brownies or Cubs or drama or karate, or a choir or a sport or whatever. For me, it wouldn't be more formal learning.
I agree with you. My son had lots of opportunities when he was at primary. The clubs were run by staff or external providers paid for by parents. Sadly the school put so much effort into clubs that the academics suffered. There are now hardly any clubs which I feel us sad.
The problem with clubs is who pays for them.
I run some clubs in my school, we change what is offered each term - they are paid for by parents as we find this makes them take it seriously and actually turn up (and obviously we make concessions for people who can't afford it).
I previously ran one club (art) through Irish, the kids really enjoyed it. I was quite surprised - I decided to try it one week and it went better than expected. I'd do it again but my current one is cards which is harder to mesh with it and still have them understand.
My favourites to run are drama, cards (games and tricks) and art. We once had a Fairtrade one once which was an amazing success. You'd be surprised what takes off.
I think that after school activities are most beneficial when they allow DC more of a free rein to enjoy and consolidate skills that cannot be delivered in depth in a classroom of 30.
I think children who are doing wrap around care have different needs to the ones who just go to school. My DDs were not so interested in just running around as they preferred quieter activities. The French I talked about was offered in Y2. My DD loved it and found it fun. She would have chosen that every time over sport! It really shows a variety of activities should be offered. The tired children could go home and the lively, sporty ones could do sport and the ones who like the idea of further learning could do a language or science. Science could include making things and craft which is also good fun. Generally, try and offer something for everyone.
At ks1, science club(outside provider), cooking club, computer club(not coding, general stuff), board game club and art club were popular at my ds's school.
DS' favourite has been lego club. He went to one that was very much engineering based, and one that was more artistic - designing around a theme. He would absolutely LOVE a science club. His school also had dance, football, karate, spanish clubs, all about learning new skills. What sort of club does your school do that doesn't teach them anything?
I'm not sure how you could work something with parents and kids together though. Most parents have more than one child. And if they have time to do 1:1 activities with their child, they can probably think of their own activity that is better targetted to that particular child. Doing stuff in school is about the kids being together, they can do stuff with their parents at home. Asking for parent volunteers to help run something would be a great idea though. There are often one or two that can and that could make your job easier.
Nor can I really envision how you could set up so that the parents could simultaneously be able to ask about learning. Like a parent/child drop in homework help session? Having an official drop in after school session might be helpful, sometimes I have something I want to ask but the teacher looks busy or I don't know if she might have a meeting to go to, or I worry about being That Annoying Parent, and it's not that important really. So if I knew you were around for half an hour after school on Wednesdays say, I might well use that. But bear in mind some parents can't be there after schools or have other kids to pick up other places.
Not sure if I've properly understood what you're proposing.
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