by Heather Hannington
For the first half of the Summer Term, Louise and I ran 6 weeks of an After School Club (Blaze) at Kingston Community School. Our aim for the club was to give children a fun after school experience and also introduce them to Jesus and His love.
We began each session with an activity (usually colouring) the children could take part in as they arrived and had a drink and snack which also gave us a chance to chat and get to know them. To fill the rest of the hour we planned a mixture of fun games and challenges, singing, Bible stories and craft activities giving them something to take home each week. The Bible stories were mostly based on the ‘Encounter’ series which Louise had used in King’s Kids and the other activities were themed around teaching from that week’s story as much as possible. The final week we chose the story of the wedding at Cana and had a bit of a party theme.
There was enthusiasm from the time we introduced Blaze at the Easter Assembly. The first week we were greeted by 10 eager faces all keen to find out what they were going to do. Nearly all boys, they were a lively bunch! After the first week, the feedback from the school was that the children said that Blaze was not long enough. Indeed the hour flew by! The enthusiasm (and liveliness!) never wavered throughout the whole 6 weeks. The children joined in everything and were very engaged and interested in the Bible stories. They also loved acting them out. During the final week Louise asked each child their favourite part of Blaze and between them, they mentioned every element which was a great encouragement to us.
Highlights for me:
- Getting to know some lovely children and a lovely school.
- It was a joy to hear the children sing about our Great Big God- sometimes singing spontaneously as they were colouring or making their craft.
- The ever popular strawberry lace challenge! (ask us)
- One child who grew in confidence from a tearful first session to joining in with the actions to a song.
- Attentive faces, questions and comments which showed they were listening and thinking about Jesus, who He is and what He can do.
- For both Louise and I, it was good to be with the children and not be ‘teacher’.
Our feedback from the school now is that the parents were disappointed Blaze had finished after only 6 weeks. The school have asked Louise if we could run Blaze for 10 weeks in the Autumn term. We will be restarting at the end of September and running for 10 weeks until the middle of December. There’s always room for more on the team! Contact Louise (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to find out about ways you could get involved (you don’t need to be able to commit to every week).