Out of School Project
This project has now concluded. Please see below for project details and some final evaluation information.
PATA were awarded a grant to run a small project that supported Out of School Groups within our membership. The project included a 4 week programme that aimed to:
- improve play setting’s staff confidence, skills and well-being,
- reduce feelings of isolation,
- improve children’s confidence and wellbeing (through inclusion and participation)
This was achieved through an organisational healthcheck, consultation and demonstrating activities.
- 5 out of school groups
- 144 children
- 18 members of staff
Final evaluation: Participants comments
"I feel the project has introduced new activities and risk assessment which are accessible to the children and gave me encouragement to write a play policy which provides the school members with clear objectives of a play centred team….it has been encouraging to know that an external organisation is interested in the work we do and I therefore feel less isolated."
“The project activities have definitely supported me in my role. I would never have thought of using fire in play. I'm definitely going to carry on and I feel more confident to do so... I've learnt new skills."
"The activities have been really popular amongst the children - they've enjoyed helping each other. I can see developmental changes for the children because they've joined in, they're excited, more confident, and they also have more focus and engagement because of this. I've noticed behaviour changes in that they're listening to the instructions.”"The children have had their imagination sparked and are thinking things through."
"I’ve learnt new skills, and now have the confidence to try things with added risk – particularly using fire. We’ve had lots of feedback on our Facebook page, pictures that we took have been liked, with good comments such as Wow! Etc. and parents and children have been telling us that they’ve been trying similar things at home.""I noticed that there was a mix of children joining in that may not normally play together.....
some of the more shy children join in the activities which has made them grow in confidence and made them a lot happier.”
"The demonstration allowed the children to be independent as well as guiding them to be safe."
"The difference to the group is fabulous, the staff are working together as a team. This makes me feel valued and confident being part of the team. "
"It was interactive and you got to eat your result!” “It was delicious and very effective. It was so fun!” “I enjoyed it…I’d never done it before and it was very exciting.” “Because it was fun and the results were very yummy and it was the best thing ever, even if I got a hot finger, it was amazing.” “Because I loved eating it. I would like to do it again.” “It was very exciting and tasty.” “I found it fun and I got lots of popcorn.'' “I was happy because I was excited to check and see what had happened.”
In looking at original project aims, the project has made a difference to staff, children and the settings overall. The evaluations, particularly those given by the staff cite many incidents of improved skills and confidence. The children involved clearly valued their voice being heard and all settings said this was a valuable learning part of the project – ensuring they give meaningful opportunities for children to say what they like and dislike or what else they want within their group. By supporting each group with play policies and addressing their individual challenges and needs the project activities and support should ensure lasting impact for all involved.
If you would like to know more about the project, please contact Debs Adams on 01452 541244 / firstname.lastname@example.org.