Non-School Nottingham blog: news & upcoming events

Minecraft (MCPE) meetup, Sherwood, Wednesday 11 October

MCPE = Minecraft Pocket Edition, a particular version of the Minecraft software, used on tablets & similar devices. Bring your own device to play, or come and watch and chat. Technical & game-learning help available, both on the day and beforehand to set up.

Date: Wednesday 11 October 2017 – and probably other dates in the future, not necessarily Wednesdays, depending on what people want & how the first one goes.

Time: 3pm to 5pm.

Age range: “Teens-ish”. Primarily 12 to 17, not minding if a few 11-year-olds or 18+ wanted to join in too.

Area: Sherwood, about 3 miles north of Nottingham City Centre, on Purple Line (or Lime Line) buses.

Venue: Get in touch to be told the address.

Price: 50p for drinks & snacks.

Booking, or enquiries: Email minecraft at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk.

Logo for "Minecraft Pocket Edition". The words are in a blocky font, against a background of blocks, in shades of green at the top and mostly brown underneath, as if representing grass above earth. The "A" of "craft" has a little face in the middle.

Minecraft is a “virtual environment” where you can build things and travel around. Within the environment, you can do lots of different things – explore, play games with friends, build virtual electronics and mechanics, etc. A lot of home ed young people already play it.

There are various versions of the software, and at this group we will be using Minecraft Pocket Edition, version 1.1.x (where the x represents any number 1 to 9).

This version will run on

  • iOS
  • Ubuntu phones & tablets
  • Android, e.g.
    • Amazon phones & tablets
    • NVIDIA devices
    • Samsung phones & tablets
    • Sony phones & tablets
    • (and whichever other phones, tablets etc are running Android).

It won’t run on PCs, Windows devices, or consoles such as the Xbox, PlayStation or Wii.

If you’re not sure what version you’ve got, or whether your device can run the software, or how to install it – get in touch!

The technical side of the group, and the server admin, will be run by one of the home ed teens, who had the idea for this group in the first place.

Before the day, he will check in with each participant to see what kind of games or challenges they’d like to do in the Minecraft session, and give support if anyone needs help with the software.

On the day, we will gather in person, play Minecraft and chat.

Depending on what people want to do, the in-game activities could include creating, exploring, survival, building with Redstone (virtual electronics/mechanics), trolling, using command blocks, customising your character, parkour, “player versus player” etc. If you don’t know yet what these are, don’t worry! There will be plenty of help to learn your way around the game.

We will put people into small groups depending on favourite activities and level of experience. E.g. a new person who just wanted to build something could be put with other new people who just wanted to build something.

If it turned out there were so many interested people that it wouldn’t be feasible for everyone to come on the same day, we may divide the group onto different days as well as different instances of the game.

As a bonus optional extra: there’s a way to play from home on days when you couldn’t make it to the group, joining in with friends you made at the group. And you can do that on other days as well, not just the group meetup day.

The game is virtual but the friends are real!

A Minecraft Guide For People Who Don’t Get Minecraft

The Educational Benefits of Minecraft

Travel: Purple Line buses go fairly near, and there is parking outside.

Physical access: limited for this, sorry. The venue is a house. The meetup will take place on the ground floor. There’s a doorstep at the entrance of about 5cm. The only toilet is upstairs. If this access wouldn’t work for you, but you’d like to be involved, please email info at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk and/or the meetup organisers.

Home Rangers home ed drama group at Nonsuch Theatre, city centre, Fridays

Date: Friday mornings, all year round, except for two weeks off at Christmas and one at Easter.

Time: 10am to 12 noon.

Venue: Nonsuch Studios, 32a Clarendon Street, Nottingham, NG1 5JD.

Area: City Centre, not far from the Nottingham Trent University tram stop.

Age range: No formal age limits. The current group varies from 4 to 14.

Price: £8 per session, or £70 for 10 weeks.

Booking: No need to book – you can just turn up and pay on the day.

Enquiries: email olivia at wearenonsuch dot com, or go via the contact page.

Home Rangers page at Nonsuch Theatre

About 15 young people are standing in rows and looking at the camera, mostly smiling. They are indoors with a row of windows behind them. Their ages vary, with many of them looking around 5 to 10 and a few older ones.

The group! And yes, everyone gave permission for their picture to be used.

Discovering & making theatre

Exploring creativity through discovering and making theatre is the perfect way for young people to begin to developing skills that will see them excel in later life. Not only will they gain confidence in expressing themselves but they’ll also become leaders, creators and imaginative team players.

This weekly class from Nottingham’s international theatre company will see participants gain knowledge and understanding of different theatrical forms from throughout theatre history. They’ll practically develop performance skills, experience the many opportunities the arts can provide, explore plays, create their own work inspired by the world around them and, most of all, have fun!

Map showing the Nonsuch studios:

Bigger map showing the Nonsuch studios

Landmarks: The venue is round the corner from Nottingham Women’s Centre, and opposite the Friends’ Meeting House.

Nearest tram stop: “Nottingham Trent University“. All trams passing through the city centre will stop here – you don’t need to be on a particular line. Tram information.

Nearest bus stop: The venue is less than half a mile from the Old Market Square, and a similar distance from the Victoria Centre, putting it close to a large number of city centre bus stops.

If you’re getting the 28, 30, 31, 35 or 36, don’t go all the way in to the city, but get off at “Clarendon Street” bus stop on Talbot Street. Likewise, if you’re getting the 34, 77, 78 or 79, get off at “Wollaton Street“.

City Centre bus map (PDF). The studio space is just off the top left hand corner of this map.

Parking options:

  • Onstreet parking on Clarendon Street: Zone 1, £1 per 30 mins.
  • Talbot Street or College Street: 50p per 30 mins.
  • As the tram stop is close, it’s worth considering one of the Park and Ride car parks.

Dance/drama/music/arts, Beeston, Tuesday afternoons

Date: Tuesday afternoons from September 2017.

Time: 1.30pm to 2.30pm, with possibility of dividing the older ones into a separate group at 2.30pm if/when the group gets big.

Venue: Manor Arts at The Manor House, 2 Middle Street, Beeston, NG9 1FX.

Area: Near the main Beeston tram & bus stop interchange.

Organiser: Catherine Chivers, catherinechivers at gmail dot com.

Age range: 5 to 12 approx (6 to 10 at time of writing) for this group, which is specifically for home edders. Catherine also runs other drama groups for young people, to which a few home ed children aged around 10 to 12 are already going.

Price: £5 per session.

Booking: Pay as you go. Probably best to email first if you’re new, so Catherine knows to expect you.

Manor Arts web page.

Manor Arts Facebook page.

Dance, Drama, Art, Music, Literacy – script writing, performance poetry etc.

The words "Manor Arts" appear over a logo of interocking shields, featuring drama masks and music notes, on a pale green background. In smaller letters it says "Est. 2016" ("est" as in "established").

I am a very experienced Primary teacher with specialist expertise in Dance and Drama. I have worked a lot with children and adults with learning disabilities, ASD and confidence issues. I am very calm and caring teacher and always endeavour to bring out the best in people.

If parents would like this session to run in conjunction with a support group for them I am happy for Manor Arts to provide the venue for this and you would be welcome to make use of tea/coffee making facilities and meet together whilst your children enjoy their time together being creative! I can very easily incorporate Science/History themes into creative sessions too! If there is enough interest I can run a group for older children 2.30-3.30.

I have an enhanced DBS and Public Liability Insurance.

Do get in touch if you would be interested in this exciting new venture.

Access info:

Wheelchair accessible and large toilet. There is gravel on the drive but I have a lot of people with pushchairs using the venue and they are fine. I can arrange parking at Falcon House Nursing Home next door for wheelchair users. Children with autism or learning disabilities most welcome.

Map showing Manor Arts:

Bigger view of map showing Manor Arts

Nearest tram stop: “Beeston centre” tram stop is only about 100-200 yards away round the corner. This is on the Toton branch of the tram line. Tram information.

Nearest bus stop: “Beeston Interchange“, on the 36 route, Orange Line. Trent Barton buses which stop there are the Indigo and 20. Sometimes cheaper, but not valid on most pre-paid bus cards, is the YourBus Y36, usually a dark red colour, which follows the same route as the NCT orange 36.

Parking: Tesco is about 250 yards away and allows 3 hours’ free parking. Off street parking nearby, but not right outside the venue. Contact Catherine if you need somewhere nearer; see access info above, “I can arrange parking at Falcon House Nursing Home next door for wheelchair users.”

“Smile” drama/music show in libraries, Nottingham/Notts, October

“A delightful musical adventure for children aged 3 – 5 and their families”

Date: Various dates from 9 to 20 October 2017.

Day & date in Oct Which library
Monday 9 Beeston (sold out)
Tuesday 10 Nottingham Central
Wednesday 11 Dales, Sneinton
Thursday 12 Bulwell
Friday 13 Worksop
Monday 16 Mansfield Central
Tuesday 17 Hyson Green
Wednesday 18 Wollaton
Thursday 19 Sutton-in-Ashfield
Friday 20 Arnold

Time: 10.30 to approx 11.10 (running time 40 minutes).

Age range: Aimed at ages 3 to 5.

Price: £2 per child; accompanying adults free.

Bookings: List of dates, libraries and how to book for each one.

Details: Not specifically a home ed thing – open to anyone.

“Augustus the tiger was sad. He had lost his smile.”

Based on the book Augustus and His Smile written and illustrated by Catherine Rayner and published by Little Tiger Press, www.littletiger.co.uk

Find the book in the library system

Access, parking, maps etc: Most library listing pages have some access & travel info. List of Nottingham City libraries, inc Central, Bulwell, Dales (Sneinton), Hyson Green & Wollaton. List of Nottingham County libraries, inc Arnold, Beeston, Mansfield, Worksop and Sutton-in-Ashfield.

Show poster, with a painting of a sad-looking tiger. Main text is: "SMILE. Augustus the tiger was sad. He had lost his smile. A delightful musical advenure for children aged 3 - 5 and their families."

Not Back To School Picnic, September, Nottingham area

One afternoon in September, there will be a Not Back To School Picnic. This is an informal community meetup for play and chat. Newcomers are very welcome.

"Not Back To School Picnic". The words appear against a background of green grass. "Not" is at an angle, as if added after "Back To School". Picnic is in sky blue. The dots of the letter i are in yellow like the sun.

If you’re a new home edder or potential future home edder, and you want to find out when & where it is, you could:

More about the picnic

People taking part will bring their own food to a park. The children will play while the adults chat. (Or sometimes the children chat and the adults play!)

If you’re new, we’ll try to introduce you to people with similar age children or similar interests, or people from your geographical area.

Forest School, Tuesday & Thursday afternoons, Sneinton

Date: Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, from September 2017.

Start dates for autumn 2017: Tuesday 12 & Thursday 14 September. (Lauren will also be running a similar session on Mondays in Heanor, Derbyshire – out of area for this blog, but do contact her if you’re interested.)

Booking deadline for those sessions: Friday 1 September.

Time: 3.30pm to 5.15pm.

Venue: On land behind the Iona school. 310 Sneinton Dale, Nottingham, NG3 7DN.

Area: Sneinton, on the 43 (red) bus route, not far from Colwick Woods.

Age range: 4 to 12, divided into 2 groups by age.

Day Age
Tuesdays 4 to 7*
Thursdays 8 to 12*

* These are guideline ages; there’s potentially some flexibility. An example might be if siblings of 7 and 8 wanted to be in the same group. Have a chat.

Price: £10 per session, booked in blocks, typically 5 sessions to a block. Sibling discount of 25%. “Provided we are not fully booked, we are happy for your child to attend the first session as a trial before committing.” If the groups are full, you can go on a waiting list.

Booking: To book, contact Lauren who runs it. Email lauren at intothewildwood dot co dot uk, or use the contact form at Into the Wild Wood.

This isn’t a home-ed-only group, but home edders are welcome.

Into the Wild Wood

Drawing of woodland. Mostly green, with dark green leaves in the foreground, and a bird flying away up ahead.

Sessions led by Lauren Kinnersley, a Steiner Waldorf trained practitioner who is Level 3 Forest School trained, supported by staff from the school. Sessions include storytelling, tool use, games and nature crafts. Maximum group size is 10.

Bigger map showing the Iona School.

Access info:

At Iona there is a compost toilet and the site is accessible with paved paths. We have a maximum group size of 10 with two adults supporting. Parents do not normally stay at the sessions, but if your child has a particular support need, parents are invited to stay and support their child to enable them to participate.

Nearest bus stop: “Skipton Circus”, on the 43 route, Red Line.

Parking: There is parking at the school.

EMHEM 2017 weekend – camping or dorms, Beaumanor, Leicestershire, 17 to 20 August

EMHEM = East Midlands Home Ed Moot! “An opportunity to get together and have fun in beautiful surroundings.” All home ed families welcome.

Date: Weekend of Thursday 17 to Sunday 20 August 2017.

Time: Thursday afternoon to Sunday afternoon. If you can only do 2 of the 3 nights, ask for more info.

Venue: Beaumanor Hall, Woodhouse, Leicestershire, LE12 8TX.

“a Victorian country house located in Woodhouse, Leicestershire. Set in 34 acres of idyllic countryside, Beaumanor has been run by Leicestershire County Council since the 1970s”

Photo: a large red-brick hall with pointy roofs and tall chimneys is viewed from above, as if from an aeroplane. It stands within formal lawns and is surrounded by woodland. A further courtyard can be glimpsed to the left of the picture. The horizon can be seen in the distance.

Area: The hall is about two miles south of Loughborough Central train station “as the crow flies”, near the village of Woodhouse.

Age range: Family event for all ages, with at least one adult (18+) in each family/friends group. Rafting is 7-plus only.

Price: Age two and under go free. Everyone else pays per person. The price depends on which type of accommodation you choose (if that kind is still available). These prices are for 3 nights. Rafting and survival/shelter activity are extra; see below.

Accommodation Price per person
Camping (own tent) £29
Camping (pre-pitched) £42
Dorms £51

Included in the accommodation price is the provision of jacket potatoes and pasta/rice for the evening meals. Bring your own toppings/sides/extras.

Optional extras:
Rafting, £22, for age 7+
Survival and shelter building, £15, no age limits.
These will be on the Saturday. Adults can book onto them too.

The staff we feel are excellent leaders and work well with the children.

Booking: Email emhem at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk.

What to include in the booking email:

  • total number of people coming
  • ages of kids
  • accommodation preference
  • whether you’d like to do one of the add-on activities
  • an activity/workshop/game which your family might be happy to contribute/share/lead.

Beaumanor Hall itself is used predominantly for weddings and corporate events, but they do rent out cabins and tents to schools, scouts and other youth groups regularly. They run many workshops and activities for groups of all ages and abilities and have a long established history of accommodating the needs of Home Educating families at a
reasonable rate. To this end, throughout our stay, we have unlimited use of all the grounds, including the formal gardens, woods, playing fields and playground. There are various trails and treasure hunts to follow, a spare marquee for activities and dining, and communal indoor space in the Gage Cabin which sleeps 24 (2×10 and 2×2 ) in bunks as well as a shower block and a games room. Close to Woodhouse, Beacon Hill, The Outwoods and Bradgate Park, there are also plenty of opportunities for exploration nearby.

No Dogs, except guide dogs
No individual fires (the insurance was just too much)
This is a residential visit. There needs to be at least one adult (18+) in each family/friends group.

Beaumanor Hall web site.

Map showing Beaumanor Hall:

Bigger map showing Beaumanor Hall

“How to find us” page on Beaumanor Hall web site.

Nearest conventional railway station is Loughborough, two to three miles away by road. The Beaumanor Hall web site says there would usually be taxis available at the station.

It’s also about a mile from Quorn & Woodhouse heritage train station on the Great Central Railway heritage line between Leicester and Loughborough, which will be running on the Sunday (not the Friday).

There is a Beaumanor Hall bus stop at the bottom of the drive up to the Hall (about 500 yards).

Bus timetable for the 154, which runs hourly during the day on Friday, but doesn’t run on Sundays.

Parking: There is parking at Beaumanor Hall.

STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Maths – Sherwood, Mondays

Days: Mondays in school term-time, re-starting September 2017.

Age range: 5 to 11.

Time:  50 minute classes.

Age Time
Group 1 5 & 6 12 noon – 12.50pm
Group 2 7 & 8 1pm – 1.50pm
Group 3 9 to 11 2pm – 2.50pm

Venue: Pirate’s Play Centre, 41 Rowley Drive, Sherwood, Nottingham, NG5 1GD.

Area: western side of Sherwood, towards Basford, about 2 miles north of the city centre. Brown Line buses go nearby.

Price & booking: £5 per class includes a 50 minute class and 1 hour of soft play. This is payable to me (Bekky) as a block of classes in advance.

Typically there are 6 classes per block, though it may vary slightly in order to coincide with term-time.

If places are full, I can put your child’s name on a waiting list, and contact you if a place becomes available for the next block.

At the moment, I am unable to offer any one-off trials.

Enquiries: To make the email address, put “bekky_robinson” in front of “yahoo.com” with the “@” sign in between.

The foreground is green text: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Maths. The background is an old print of a diagram of the solar system, shown with white lines on a purple background.

What happens:

An hour of hands-on experiments and mathematical discovery, crafts and art, enabling children to develop mathematical and scientific thinking skills, and learn more about how the world works.

It takes place at the Pirates Play Centre in Sherwood, and the owners have very kindly agreed to let those attending the class have a free play before or after the class.

Students practice learning in groups, pairs and individually; they practice their fine-motor-skills through craft work; develop design and creative skills by producing art work and inventions; and learn to use critical and analytical thinking skills to solve problems.

The classes are non-national-curriculum, which gives a wider basis of topics, and prevents us being hemmed in to cover a syllabus.

Each lesson is a self-contained unit and requires no previous knowledge of the subject.

Examples of topics of previous classes include: Dinosaurs; Patterns and Bubbles; Energy; Changes of State; Floating and Sinking; Music and Sound; Space; Ciphers and Codes.

Map showing Pirate’s Play Centre:

Bigger map showing Pirate’s Play Centre

Pirate’s Play Centre web site – the page with maps on.

Nearest bus stop coming from the north: “Leonard Avenue“.

Nearest bus stop coming from the south: “Perry Road” – but there’s not much in it. Leonard Avenue is nearly as close.

Both are on the Brown Line along Hucknall Road. There are frequent buses throughout the day; the 15, 16, 16C or 17 all go there. In town, these buses go from stops T1 and T2 on Milton Road just north of Trinity Square, opposite the Victoria Centre.

Alternatively, if you’re coming from out of town along the Yellow Line along Nottingham Road, your nearest bus stop is called “Haydn Road”. Or if you’re coming from out of town along the Purple or Lime lines, your nearest stop would be a different one called “Haydn Road”. Compared to getting a Brown Line bus, these options mean a bit more walking.

Cars & parking: Note that vehicle access is only along Kelham Drive.

There is parking at Pirate’s, which should be ample during the day when it’ll be mostly us using the venue.

Teens-ish meetups, Nottingham, Monday 3 & Thursday 20 July

Update Thursday 20 July: Yes we are still meeting! Weather forecast predicts that rain will stop around 1pm and sun might appear later.

Dates: Monday 3 July & Thursday 20 July 2017 – choose one or both of the two dates.

May be postponed if weather forecast is for lots of rain that afternoon.

Time: 1pm to 3pm, and probably some will stay on longer, depending on weather & what everyone’s doing 🙂

Venue: a Nottingham park. We’re not announcing the meetup point in public, so please get onto one of the lists or groups where local home ed families plan things, or email (see below).

Price: Free.

Age range: Primarily 12 to 17, not minding if a few 11-year-olds or 18+ wanted to join in too.

If some families bring younger siblings along too, that’s fine – it’s just that the focus will be on the older ones, and the younger ones will be expected to not get too much in the way of that.

Parents at the “considering and finding out about home ed” stage are welcome to visit with or without their children, and take the opportunity to chat to the other parents.

Booking: No need to book. However, there will probably be some discussion on email & Facebook of who’s planning to come.

Bright yellow text says "Teens-ish" meetup. The background is green grass.

For young people who’d specially like to meet others of similar age!

The first one of these, in June 2017, attracted a dozen local home edders in the teens-ish age range, as well as a few younger siblings.

At the end, lots of people said they’d like to meet up for a similar thing again. Plus, we knew already that some interested families hadn’t been able to make that first date. So these two dates are the follow-up.

New families are very welcome. There will probably be a mix of people who came to the first one and people who didn’t. We’ll try to be extra friendly if you don’t know anyone!

The format at the first meetup seemed to work OK for everyone, including a few autistic/Aspergers young people who happened to be part of the group. So we’ll probably do roughly the same sequence next time, although it could vary if people have other ideas.

We did an introduction circle where people could say their name and something they’re into, such as dance, gaming, music, gymnastics, books or art. At this first meetup, lots of people had never met before, so at first, the overall flavour was a bit quiet and cautious.

After a while, we got playing a parachute game where we called out things like “anyone wearing black” or “anyone who likes Harry Potter” or “anyone who owns more than 3 computer games”, and everyone who fit the category would run underneath the parachute and swap places. This got more raucous and friendly.

Then a load of the teens-ish people (anyone who wanted to) went off for a walk together while the parents stayed back at base and had a chat.

Some of us ended up not leaving till about 5pm, though some had to go earlier.

Things you might want to bring: sun cream, sun hats, umbrellas, snacks, water, picnic blankets, and a way to write down other people’s contact details.

If you want more other meetup opportunities, bear in mind that some teens have been coming to the Thursday Free Play meetups.

Access: If you or your child has limited mobility/energy, social/sensory limitations or anything else that would affect your access to the event, feel free to give us a heads-up so we can take your needs into account when planning. Either mention it on the lists/groups where the event’s being discussed, or email privately on teensishmeetup at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk.

Dance/drama/music/arts, Beeston, Tuesday afternoons

Date: Tuesday afternoons, beginning 6 June 2017.

Time: 1.30pm to 2.30pm.

Venue: Manor Arts at The Manor House, 2 Middle Street, Beeston, NG9 1FX.

Area: Near the main Beeston tram & bus stop interchange.

Age range: “Primary age (or Primary ability level if SEN)”.

Price: £5 per session.

Booking: Pay as you go, initially; “ideally a regular commitment so projects can develop week by week”.

Organiser: Catherine Chivers, catherinechivers at gmail dot com.

Manor Arts web page.

Manor Arts Facebook page.

Daytime Creative Arts Group- new class specifically for home schoolers involving dance, drama, music, games, choreography, creating sketches and plays, films around topics to start on Tuesday 6th June. To develop confidence, social skills and friendships.

The words "Manor Arts" appear over a logo of interocking shields, featuring drama masks and music notes, on a pale green background. In smaller letters it says "Est. 2016" ("est" as in "established").

Catherine explains:

I am a very experienced Primary teacher and dance/drama specialist. I have set up and run Manor Arts for a year now. I have a beautiful purpose built dance studio and games room in the grounds of The Manor House in Beeston. I run pre-school and after school dance and drama sessions (no exams – it’s all about nurturing creativity and developing confidence.) I also teach adults Fitsteps (Latin and Ballroom based dance fitness class) and run a Mums and Kids version on Friday evenings plus adults Tap. I have a lot of SEN experience and interest and also teach an adults with learning disabilities class. I am hoping there will be enough interest in my setting up a Creative Arts Daytime Group for home schoolers after half term. If parents wish they would be most welcome to use the venue as a support group with other like minded people whilst the children get creative!

Access info:

Wheelchair accessible and large toilet. There is gravel on the drive but I have a lot of people with pushchairs using the venue and they are fine. I can arrange parking at Falcon House Nursing Home next door for wheelchair users. Children with autism or learning disabilities most welcome.

Map showing Manor Arts:

Bigger view of map showing Manor Arts

Nearest tram stop: “Beeston centre” tram stop is only about 100-200 yards away round the corner. This is on the Toton branch of the tram line. Tram information.

Nearest bus stop: “Beeston Interchange“, on the 36 route, Orange Line. Trent Barton buses which stop there are the Indigo and 20. Sometimes cheaper, but not valid on most pre-paid bus cards, is the YourBus Y36, usually a dark red colour, which follows the same route as the NCT orange 36.

Parking: Tesco is about 250 yards away and allows 3 hours’ free parking. Off street parking nearby, but not right outside the venue. Contact Catherine if you need somewhere nearer; see access info above, “I can arrange parking at Falcon House Nursing Home next door for wheelchair users.”