Saturday Homework Club (SHWC)

Category: Our Programmes

Since 2004, we have been running this project to help refugee children who cannot afford to pay private tutorial fees. We use the expertise of children’s parents and local teachers to run this project. A number of volunteer former teachers and supply teachers are currently working with our club to support the project.

One of the areas of concern limiting refugee children’s academic achievements has been identified in the past as English language.  With refugee children forming the majority of our Saturday Homework club, it has often been noted that potential learners had insufficient English language skills to successfully relate their actual and full academic support needs and so risked missing out on important subjects they might desperately need to learn in order to improve their chances to succeed in their respective schools.  Care Link West Midlands has overcome this to a very large extent by employing multilingual volunteer teachers.

The Saturday Homework Club programme has been set up to help underachieving French speaking refugee children under 16 years of age from central Africa living in West Midlands (Birmingham, Sandwell and Coventry areas) to develop study skills learnt in their current schools placement. The programme helps children with literacy, numeracy, English and ICT difficulties so that they become motivated and enabled independent learners through after school activities during the year.

We meet with the children at the Parish of the Resurrection/Smethwick and at St. Margaret’s Church/Coventry on Saturdays to learn useful skills they need for their academic achievement. At both sites (Smethwick and Coventry), parents and children meet up with our volunteer teachers in the afternoon from 2.00pm to 4.00pm during the regular school year. Some other community members occasionally come to visit the club to be aware of what is going on and how things are being done.

The project runs classes in Maths, English and Science for underachieving refugee children from Birmingham, Sandwell, Walsall and Coventry as well as giving extra support in reading and writing skills. The project also focuses on developing the children’s creative skills in writing, art/drama, improving their verbal communication skills, team-work and team building skills. We do organize every yearly educational trips to places of high educational influence like libraries, museums, parks, zoos, castles, etc.

1. Why Saturday Homework Club?

Teachers do not normally have enough time to tailor homework to the individual needs of each student especially those children whose English is a second language.

During a couple of meetings with parents to discuss issues related to children inclusion, a number of parents have shown interest in giving Care Link West Midlands responsibility to support our children with homework. They appear to have less time to spend with children during the week. As problems seem to be common for most children, putting them together in a classroom setting would make a difference.

2. What is being done?

3. GOALS OF THE PROGRAMME

EXPECTED OUTCOMES

4. Activities

The following activities are part of the Saturday Homework support activities

    1. Raise awareness in children on health, Road safety.
    2. Leisure activities, health & safety
    3. Enjoyment and achievement
    4. Making a positive contribution in exile land
    5. Highlight and promote good practices

Additionally, we compliment tutoring with periodic motivational activities for our students such as educational documentaries that serve to activate discussion and self-expression. It is also a useful mentoring tool that is both fun and a learning experience for the students. The SHWC has also integrated its activities with both the Birmingham and Sandwell library systems, participating in the “Summer Reading Club” programme. The self-esteem of our students has greatly improved following their exposure to the entire SHWC programme and especially the added value of multi sport activities that the project has incorporated and embedded to go hand in hand with the homework club activities.

5. Our experience or our organisation’s experience in this type of project

We have significant experience in running this project and our services have improved as a result of review and scrutiny by ContinYou and our continuous membership with National Resource Centre for Supplementary Education (NRC) Quality Framework.

Saturday Homework Clubs has received recognition from the National Resource Centre for Supplementary Education - “ContinYou”, being awarded a GOLD AWARD in maintaining Higher Level Quality standards in the provision of supplementary education to disadvantaged children.