Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic meant we had to significantly limit the number of children attending our holiday club this summer.
Although this has had an obvious impact on the financial aspect of running a holiday club, we have seen a hugely positive response in how the club has been able to operate. Although we have always had positive reviews from parents and children in the past, this year we have seen a significant rise in the number of glowing feedback reports we have received.
This is proof that quality should always come over quantity!
As Coaches, it is vital that to be able to teach a class with mixed ages and abilities, we can engage every single child and manage other situations that may arise at the same time. Smaller groups give coaches space to uncover both strengths and vulnerabilities and assist the children in their development and understanding of the activity they are participating in.
All children are different and experience situations in various ways, as well as learning at different rates. Having smaller groups means we can ensure that no individual is struggling.
As Coaches, we always keep in mind other issues and vulnerabilities children may have, and in smaller groups, we are able to respond and support in a measured way. This kind of support can be a huge help with children who often feel overwhelmed or anxious about problems outside of these holiday clubs.
At primary school age, children are still developing independence and self-discipline in time for the jump to secondary school and eventually adult life. It is in these early stages that children being taught in smaller groups benefit the most.
We have seen that children joining our Holiday Clubs can have completely different experiences when beginning. Some children are eager to learn and interact with other children, coaches, etc. whereas some children, who may be less confident and need that extra boost of encouragement, can become anxious or particularly withdrawn.
We have seen a huge improvement with the smaller groups, as we are able to identify the signs and proceed in assisting children with their confidence, and in turn, development of their sporting practices and social skills, still in a group setting, much like in school.
Limited student classes promote better social and communication skills as there is a more profound incentive for pupils to pay attention and get involved to the best of their ability as they are aware they are being assisted on a more individual basis. This will allow them to develop more confidence when participating in larger groups at school and their future education.
Studies suggest that children in smaller classes are more likely to see better results than those in classes with more than 20 kids. We have seen that our students the past few weeks are more likely to return to class with higher tolerance and patience around their peers and are excited to develop their skills, as they know that they will always receive the attention they need in a class that has a limited number of children.
We have also seen children be less likely to exhibit behaviors in order to ‘fit in’, as learning this independence and gaining a sense of individuality develops their self-confidence and self-reliance allowing them to be their own individual people. They become aware that they are learning and developing among other children who may be different from them, and we have seen increased understanding, kindness, patience, and empathy for their peers due to this.
It is said that learning skills such as these, in a mixed social and educational setting, will allow kids to maintain these skills throughout their life experiences.
Should government guidance on the number of children allowed per bubble change in the coming months, we will look to increase our numbers from 15 to 20 per age group. Going forward this is the maximum number of children we will accept onto any of our holiday club groups, meaning our holiday club at Urmston Primary School will be limited to 40 children per day (20 per age group).
This will subsequently mean our prices increase slightly in order for us to operate successfully, but we strongly believe that the quality of our service offers great value for money!
We are hoping to branch out into two at least two new venues in the next 12 months, one of those being in Chorlton and the other being in Sale or Altrincham.
We hope you will come and join us!
For more information on our Holiday Clubs, please follow us on Facebook/Instagram (@schoolofsportltd) or visit the holiday club section of our website www.schoolofsport.org.uk/holiday-clubs