After School Club
"When we make nice things it makes me feel good. The grown-ups show us different activities to do, and if I don't do it right, they don't mind. They let me try again until I get it right. When I don't come to After School Club I don't get too sad, but I do get grumpy." Ahmed, 6, from Somalia.
After School Club and Holiday Activities
The After School Club was set up to provide children with play opportunities, creative activities and outlets for self-expression. There have been many positive outcomes for the children who attend, including improved confidence and self-esteem, rapid acquisition of English, social skills and academic achievement. The After School Club is free for children from refugee families, and is open from 3.30-4.45 three days a week during term time, and we offer a full time school holiday programme.
After School Club
At Salusbury WORLD we have a strong commitment to promoting children's right to leisure, play and recreation. Our work is based on developing skills and building confidence in an informal setting. Activities that foster creativity and freedom of expression help boost children's confidence and self esteem, and develop their social skills and capacity for learning. Some refugee children find it easier to communicate feelings and ideas through art, other release energy and tension through physical games. Activities include:
- arts and crafts
- sports and games
- music and drama
- trips and outings
- workshops run by outside visitors
- ICT classes and computer games
- festival and faith projects and celebrations
Case Study: Holiday Activities
Although Salusbury WORLD was already providing an extensive range of activities each week, outdoor activities were limited to the space available at school. During the summer, children needed a play space with more features. During autumn and winter, there was also a need for floodlit areas.
A staff member for Salusbury WORLD visited St. John's Wood Adventure Playground, which had indoor and outdoor spaces. Features included a pool table, table tennis, a video room, a basketball court, football space, a digging area, swings, slides and floodlights.
During a half term, Salusbury WORLD made a three-day trial trip to the playground with a small group of children. The days proved to be so popular that both parties developed further plans and a funding application for a joint summer project was developed.
The funding application was successful, with almost £7000 being granted by the Home Office. Working together, Salusbury WORLD and the St. John's Wood Adventure Playground used the money to pay for staffing, travel and a summer project promoting refugee integration. Monitoring and evaluation data was then used to develop an application to Barnado's Better Play Programme for funding for a two-year holiday project. This application was also successful.
The After School Club would not be able to function without our fantastic team of volunteers. If you think you may be interested, please feel free to have a look around and talk to us. We usually ask people to commit for one session a week (Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, 3.30 – 5.00), for at least a term. Other volunteers come and help us at the adventure playground during the school holidays.
Advice and training
Our recent publication, Home from Home, gives more detail about how to setup after school and holiday provision, plus ideas for successful activities which we have run at Salusbury WORLD.
We have also run successful training sessions for staff and volunteers on the background issues when working with refugees.