Children are being invited to the Holiday Club run by St Joseph’s College in Reading.
Run during full weeks of each school holiday, it gives children aged three to 14 the chance to have fun in a safe, happy and secure environment.
Open each day of the half-term holiday from 8am to 6pm, sessions run for a full day or half day and can be booked for the week or single sessions. Costing just £18 for a session, £28 per day or £130 for the week, it’s a fun solution that won’t break the bank. In addition to half-terms, the club also runs during Christmas, Easter and summer holidays.
Older children can attend sports sessions at St Joseph’s College. Hosted by Star Hotshots multi-activity camps, activities are led by qualified PE teachers and coaches.
For three to five year olds the club takes place in the school’s new purpose built Early Years Centre and is fully equipped to meet the needs of every under five: they can play indoors and outdoors with a wide variety of toys, games and instruments. Sessions include crafts, cookery and the chance to try out different sports courtesy of Star Hotshots.
It is staffed by the Early Years Practitioners who work in the College all year round, ensuring continuity for pupils and maintaining the school’s high standards.
Places are limited and there is a ratio of no more than eight children per adult.
The holiday club launched last year and was a natural extension of its Early Years centre, explains Grace Hope, the Head of St Joseph’s College Prep School.
“The Early Years Centre has really enhanced what we can do here,” she says as she conducts me on a tour of the purpose-built, spacious classrooms.
The Early Years Holiday Club is an extension to the school’s work.
Grace says: “It was a natural progression to open in the holidays.
“It’s very high quality care; some children come along for a morning and enjoy it so much they stay for the whole day. One child came along for the holiday club and then registered for the school!”
St Joseph’s Early Years Centre opened in January and is next to the main school. It has its own outdoor play space and a woodland area is being developed.
As Grace takes me round the Centre, bright-eyed and beaming children keep rushing up to her to share their learning and discoveries. As they come to her, she bends down to their level, to offer words of encouragement and support to them.
It’s something that matters to Grace.
“It’s about the underlying ethos of what we do and how we work with each other,” she explains. “I firmly believe that children that are confident and happy will learn.”
And she reassures parents who are nervous about leaving their three-year-olds at the Early Years Centre for the first time.
“I tell them to just leave them with us to let them settle in, so they can get to know us and us them. With that foundation, they will flourish.”
Grace adds that giving children the right start, something that runs through both term-time and holiday club, will pay dividends later.
“We give them the opportunity to try lots of things and discover who they are,” she says. “When they get to secondary school, the wider experiences they have had at an early age will give them confidence. This foundation will help them with their adolescence.
“That’s why, as a school, we are happy to invest in the Early Years Centre. I firmly believe that if we get all the early stages right, they’ll be better prepared for life.”
The Early Years Centre is part of the Prep School which caters for children aged three to 11 and offers a high quality education.
“There’s nothing about the Early Years Centre that I’d change,” Grace says. “We have the right space and facilities and we’re really delighted with the staff team we’ve got.”
For more about the Hotshots Holiday Club for children aged 5 to 14, log on to www.hotshots-sports.co.uk or call 0845 301 0450.