Do primary schools offer enough after school extra-curricular activities?

The national curriculum is broken down into four main key stages with one and two being taught at primary schools. Teachers have a very strict body of work to cover during this time which is why many schools introduce extra-curricular activities to cover anything that might not be included during the school day – but do they offer enough for children outside normal hours?
Well, this subject has been debated heavily over the years but it’s safe to say that steps have been taken to ensure children get the stimulation they need. While extra-curricular clubs are popping up left, right and centre, educational apps like ParentMail make online payments for activities easier than ever, and offer online communications so you can reach parents on their mobile or by email letting them know about new activities, so let’s delve deeper into this issue.
Government funding
Sadly, opportunities for youngsters rely heavily on funding. If there’s a lack of money, non-essential activities seem to be put on hold or stopped altogether. This has happened in the past; however, things are looking up with the UK government spending over £450 million on improving physical education (PE) and sport in primary schools over the three academic years: 2013-2014, 2014-2015 and 2015-2016. As the extra money is being allocated directly to primary school head teachers, schools can decide how to use their funding, be it to hire qualified sports coachers to improve PE lessons or to run after-school sports and holiday clubs.
Change4Life Sports Clubs
Thanks to Change4Life Sports Clubs for primary schools, less active seven to nine year olds are being given the chance to increase their physical activity levels. These extra-curriculum initiatives encourage children to get moving and provide an exciting, competitive and inspirational environment for them to thrive. The clubs centre around five main themes: Adventure, combat, creative, flight and target. They encourage kids to try out a wide range of sports and are proving to have a significant impact on the behaviour attendance and attainment of little ones.
Teacher access to free training
While many people consider extra-curricular activities an essential part of learning, it’s worth noting that teachers often give up their free time to run particular clubs and classes. They’re organised and led by professionals who sacrifice a lot for children, so it’s good to see plenty of teachers being supported by outside organisations. Matalan TOP Sport, for instance, provides primary school teachers with free access to training and resources so they have the skills necessary to run clubs that are compatible with the national curriculum. This not only improves key stage lessons, it helps after school activities become educational and beneficial.

It can be difficult to know if enough extra-curricular activities are being offered but as you can see from the information above, things are improving. With additional funding, specialised clubs and teacher dedication the future looks positive.

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