Friday afternoon clubs
At West Gate we are committed to enhancing our pupils’ wellbeing and mental health through a range of approaches. One of the ways we do this is through Friday afternoon clubs. We recognise that transitioning to weekends and holidays is not always an easy thing for our young people and therefore we aim to address this common difficulty through the provision of clubs. These are primarily focused on fun, social interaction, group activities in order to ease stress and anxiety, break up the weekly routine and mark a clear transition point to the weekend that differs from the rest of the week. This helps our pupils’ understanding of their routines but is also carried out in a stress-free way that supports the processing of these feelings and emotions towards change.
Friday afternoon clubs options are devised by teachers and teaching assistants. These choices are offered to pupils at the start of each half-term. Pupils choose the club that most appeals to them and after lunch on Fridays they split from their tutor group to attend their club. This may take place in another classroom or in another specific area of the school (swimming pool, sports hall, allotment area etc.) As pupils often leave their regular group, it also allows them space to socialise with peers and staff members they may not ordinarily see and this supports the development of social interaction skills outside of the usual classroom environment. It also helps to reduce pupils’ reliance on a close peer or staff member and generally creates opportunities for other friendships and relationships to be developed across the school.
Bollywood club Crash (school dog) club
West Gate School staff have developed a highly creative approach to the clubs offer. The activities that take place are fun and engaging, but also include a strong element of group cooperation, team work and communication. Other targeted clubs are also provided, aimed at supporting our young people who struggle most with the Friday transition. These targeted clubs have include sensory relaxation club, yoga club and outside activities club, all of which aim to reduce stress and anxiety levels at this specific time of the week.
We are really pleased and proud of how our clubs offer has evolved to meet the varying interests and needs of our pupils. Some examples of current and previous clubs are as follows:
- Science Club
- Bollywood Club
- Outside Activities Club
- Relaxation and Yoga Club
- D&T and Art Club
- Gardening and Birdwatching Club
- Nature Detectives Club
- “Crash” Club
- Cooking Club
- Music and Singing Club
- “Just Dance” Club
- Social Communication Club…………………. And many more