Gosforth Park Out of School Club
At Gosforth Park Out of School Club we believe that actively promoting the participation of children in the decision-making process creates a sense of partnership and benefits everyone at the Club: children, staff and parents. We therefore involve the children whenever decisions are made that affect them.
We follow the principles set out in Articles 12 and 13 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which state that:
- A child’s opinion should be taken into account in anything that affects
- Children should have information disseminated in a way that enables them to make choices and
Involving and consulting children helps them to develop new skills such as negotiation, sharing, and understanding the perspectives of others. It helps them to understand how decisions are made, and shows them that their opinions are important. At the Club we actively consult the children and encourage them to participate in making decisions about the running of the Club through:
- Asking questions and paying full attention to the child’s response, listening to what they are saying verbally (or through use of visual aids) and also observing their body language
- Group discussions
- Regular questionnaires and gathering other feedback on activities
- Regular focus group meetings, between children and staff
The age and maturity of each child, together with the type of the decision being made, determine the extent and nature of their involvement, however, the basic assumption is always that children will be involved.
We make sure that we act on any consultation with the children so that they can see that their input has had visible outcomes. If children suspect that the consultation is just window-dressing they will disengage from the process.
At the Club the children have the opportunity to participate and make decisions on a day-to-day basis, including, but not limited to:
- Choosing freely what type of play to engage in
- Choosing what snacks to eat.
- Preparing snacks themselves
- Selecting new equipment for the club
- Drawing up club rules
- Using our resource library to select toys or activities that are not already set out
- Using our suggestion box to request new resources, activities or other changes
- Conducting risk assessments