Running a club is a great way to work in a different Key Stage and show your willingness to work out of your classroom. It’s really rewarding and has huge benefits for you and the school.
For you, it is a break from your class, the room and the constraints of the curriculum.
This change in state and mindset can give you a well needed (and deserved) energy boost. You also get to see the children in a different light and sometimes see them shine when you may never have.
Your standing in the school will also shift. You will be seen as someone who is prepared to give that bit extra and this will spread your good name around the staffroom.
As far as the children are concerned, you can move from ‘The New Teacher’ to ‘The One Who Runs The X Club’, making sure you are noticed and someone who is quickly recognised and respected throughout the school.
The school benefits too, and for that, your colleagues will be very grateful. Reaching into the wider community, winning awards and appeasing parents (all of which can be done easily) will all stand the school in good stead and help them become known in the area. And you will have contributed to that.
Clubs used to be reserved for Key Stage 2 (especially in Primary schools), but the tide is turning and now all children can expect to join a club. And the possibilities are endless!
You really can do anything that is safe and it’s a good opportunity to do something that is out of the National Curriculum.
Sometimes running your club can be the LAST thing that you want to do in your lunchtime or after a hard day’s slog. But there are ways to keep enthusiastic and fresh so the benefits easily outweigh the tiredness.
- Give your club a time frame is one way – a half term project is a good start and keeps everyone’s interest going. It also allows you to take a break when your workload is heavy or you want to try something different.
- Aim it at a year group you do not teach. This helps children to get to know you and builds your confidence in working with older or younger children.
- You can buddy up with a colleague too or even a parent. Collaborative working helps share the load and can be really supportive – and it doesn’t do your reputation any harm either.
And your club can be about ANYTHING! All the usual ones are great to get involved in, but if you fancy something different, try it out too!
Here are some examples of more unusual clubs I’ve run or seen offered:
- Thinking club (amazing existential questions from children and good use of De Bono’s 6 Thinking Hats)
- Make a Noise (Stomp inspired)
- Science club (mostly making a noise, mess and safe chemical explosions)
- GO (Japanese board game)
- Paper aeroplane club
- Really Wild Club (exploring the grounds and resident animals. Experts love to come and talk about badgers, foxes etc.)
- Knitting (great link with WI – an amazing resource of willing volunteers)
- Secret Poet Society (poetry club who used to meet in the old boiler room)
So get thinking and don’t put it off or the year will fly by and you will have missed a great opportunity. Talk to your mentor or colleagues and get stuck in!