Trampolining at Planet Bounce, City Centre, Friday 15 December

Date: Friday 15 December 2017.

Plus, if it goes well, potential for carrying on in the new year – perhaps every 3rd Friday in the month, or more or less often depending on demand.

Time: Arrive 12.30 for bounce 1pm to 3pm, allowing time for safety briefing and first-time formalities.

Age range: 4 to 65, set by Planet Bounce for this session time. It’s a public session, usually not very busy during term time.

(Possibility of setting up a separate under-4 home ed meetup to run at a different session time, in future, if there’s enough interest.)

Venue: Planet Bounce, 153-155 Huntingdon St, Nottingham, NG1 3NL.

Area: Nottingham city centre, round the back of the Victoria Centre. Huntingdon Street is the one which has the John E Wright stationery shop, and used to have Staples.

Price: £13.49 for 2 hours (approx £6.75 per hour), which is a discounted rate. Plus £2 for grippy socks if you don’t already have them.

Booking: One of the home ed parents has kindly volunteered to organise us into a group so as to get the discount. The minimum number to get the discount is 15, and you’ll need to book and pay in advance. To ensure this works OK, there will be a three-stage process:

  1. Put your name down to reserve a place. You can do this via the following email address: homeedbouncenotts at gmail dot com. (Or, if you happen to know the organiser, you could send a message by some other convenient route.)

  2. A week before the session, the organiser will count numbers, and make an announcement to say if there are enough people to get the discount this month.

  3. If yes, everyone who’s reserved a place pays their money to the organiser up front, via bank transfer or PayPal (or cash if you’re going to see each other).

    At this point, you will also need to give your child’s full name and date of birth, and – if you didn’t already – your own email address.

  4. If there aren’t enough people that month to get the discount, then of course people can still choose to turn up that day and meet, if they want to. But in that case, it would be pay individually on the day, no discount (so £10 for the first hour, £5 for the second), and not the responsibility of the group organiser.

Important note on bookings & refunds: If the rest of the group is relying on your money to get the discount (e.g. exactly 15 people had paid, and 2 drop out), unfortunately you won’t be able to get a refund if you have to drop out. However, if, say, 20 people had paid and then 2 had to drop out, your money would be usable at any future session, or refunded if the group’s not meeting any more.

Planet Bounce rules that you’ll need to know:

  • Before a child may bounce, the parent must complete a waiver to accept responsibility for the child’s behaviour, and for any injuries which weren’t the venue’s fault. One waiver lasts a year.

    Reading and signing the waiver form can be done either on a little computer screen at the venue, or online beforehand. If you’re doing it at the venue, allow an extra 15 to 20 minutes, in case there are queues to get onto the computers.

    All the parents will get an email near the day, confirming the booking and reminding them they might like to do the waiver in advance.

  • Every time you bounce, you have to get the safety briefing. About 15 minutes before the session starts, all trampoliners will be called in to hear this safety briefing. At the end of the briefing, you get your hand stamped to prove you were there.

    If you’re late, they’ll run another briefing for the latecomers – it just means you’d miss that little bit of the session.

  • Everyone who bounces has to wear grippy socks. You can buy the socks at reception, and they cost £2 a pair. Or you can bring your own, if they’re the right kind.

Planet Bounce Frequently Asked Questions

Planet Bounce – page where you can sign the “waiver” online

Map showing Planet Bounce:

Bigger map showing Planet Bounce

Nearest bus stop: Any that stop near the Victoria Centre. Nearly all the “colour lines” go there. Navy line doesn’t go very near, but you can get off a Navy and onto a Green line and do the “City Loop”. You can walk through the Victoria Centre and out via the doors to Glasshouse Street, then turn left up Glasshouse Street, walk up to the T junction which is Huntingdon Street, and you’ll see Planet Bounce across the road.

Nearest tram stop: “Royal Centre”.

Parking: Nearest car park is probably Huntington Street car park (NCP). There’s also parking at the Victoria Centre.

On access, we have the following info from Planet Bounce:

We do have a lift which gives you access to the front desk and café area. Unfortunately, there is no lift to the courts area.

We do have children come to us with autism and other disabilities so we have an understanding of working with parents and guardians to support visitors in any way we can.

Dance meetups, 11 to 18, Nottingham city centre, Wed / Thur / Fri

Non-schoolers age 11-18, dancing for enjoyment. You don’t have to be “good at dance”!

Date: We’re currently planning to vary the day-of-the-week, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday – so that it won’t always clash with the same other things, to enable more people to join in sometimes.

The next one actually booked is:

  • Thursday 19 October


Other dates we have in mind for autumn 2017, to be confirmed when the studio’s actually booked:

Update: All the following dates are now booked for autumn 2017, at the new time, see below.

  • Friday 10 November
  • Wednesday 15 November
  • Thursday 23 November
  • Thursday 30 November
  • Friday 8 December
  • Thursday 14 December
  • Wednesday 20 December

Any updates or cancellations will be amended here.

Age range: 11 to 18. Unfortunately this has to be an exact limit, as it’s set by the venue we’re using (presumably related to their funding agreements). In practice so far, it’s mostly 11 to 14 year olds who have been interested. There has been some talk of setting up a similar event for under-11s at a different venue.

Time: 1.30pm to 3.30pm.

Please note new time: Meet in reception around 12.45/12.50 for dance session 1pm to 3pm.

If you’ve not been to NGY before, you’ll need to get a membership card. You’ll need the card to beep into the door from reception to go upstairs. Beep out every time as well, as it’s how they keep track of who’s in the building in case of an emergency.

It’s free to join. Filling in the membership form takes maybe five minutes, and then allow another five minutes for the reception person to make your card. If you like, you can download the membership form here, print it out and fill it in beforehand, to save time on the day.

From 3.30pm, 11-18-year-olds can use the social space for free (table-tennis, pool table, comfy chairs, snack bar etc).

Venue: Dance studio at NGY myplace, 29-31 Castle Gate, Nottingham NG1 7AR.

Area: Nottingham city centre, just off Maid Marian Way.

Price: £2 each, for the dance studio hire. Pay the reception person when you arrive. (NGY’s dance studio can be booked by any NGY member at a rate of £1 per person per hour.)

Booking: Non-schoolers the right age can just turn up on the day. But if you want updates, or just to let us know to look out for you, email dance-meetup at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk.

Colourful lettering announces "Nottingham non-schoolers' dance meetup", adding "If you're aged 11-18, you learn outside school, and you love dancing... have a look!" On a maroon coloured background, some purple stick figures are dancing and smiling.

How it works

The young people themselves are deciding what to do in the 2 hours.

At the first meetup, people took turns to choose a song to dance to. Not everyone knew each other beforehand, but everyone was friendly.

One idea for future meetups was that half the time could be more of the “choose songs and improvise to them” and the other half could be developing and rehearsing duets or trios or group dances. But it just depends on what people decide to do on the day.

A quote from the first meetup: “No-one was in charge, but we all had ideas”

Guidelines for the session

We want everyone to have a good time!

so here is a kind of “dance group code of conduct”:

(let us know if you have ideas for making it better!)

* Look out for each other in a friendly way, so e.g. if someone seems to be left out or seems not to know what’s going on, it’s everyone’s role to include them, as a team.

* Discuss together how to use the time and what everyone wants to do. Consider dividing up the time into chunks. For example, you might agree at the start to have 20 mins doing X, 20 mins doing Y, then stop and have a think about what to do next.

* Try to make sure that everyone gets to do at least a little bit of what they wanted – e.g. if one day, most people want to do Thing A but one person wants to do Thing B, have at least 5 or 10 minutes that day where some Thing B gets to happen.

* Take turns making suggestions, and listen to each other’s ideas. If you’re doing one big dance, think about ways to build up a big dance from smaller pieces so that everyone has come up with part of it.

* It’s OK for someone to be a leader or choreographer for one particular dance. Over the weeks, everyone should get a chance to take that role if they want to, or to put in ideas to someone else’s dance if they don’t want to choreograph a whole one.

* If you’re leading the group in learning something, think about respectful ways to point out to people how you’d like them to do it, e.g. “Could we have everyone doing it like this?” (and demonstrate how you want it and how you don’t want it)

* No criticising other people’s clothes or bodies, and no teasing (except maybe some friendly teasing with people you know well enough to know for sure that they don’t mind it). Not that we think you would do this, anyway! Just saying.

* If there are any problems with the room, e.g. the music player doesn’t work or it was too hot or cold, talk to the person at reception. If they can’t help you themself, they can probably find someone who can.

* If there are any disagreements or problems that don’t get resolved entirely satisfactorily, talk about it afterwards with [coordinating parent] and your parents.

* The main aim is to enjoy the dancing and enjoy each other’s company in a friendly way, as well as the satisfaction of practising and learning 🙂

Practical tips & what to bring:

Music

The dance studio comes with a music speaker that has an input cable with a small plug, like the kind on headphones. So if you want to bring music to play, it needs to be on something with that kind of headphone socket (e.g. a phone or an ipod).

You can get the venue’s wi-fi password from the person at reception, and there were no problems with the wi-fi being too slow. So as long as it’s working, you’ll be able to get music from the internet, as well as whatever you brought.

Clothes & shoes

Wear comfortable clothes that you can move about in.

Most people will probably dance barefoot, but if you’d rather wear shoes, wear soft clean grippy ones.

Dancer checklist for the day

Comfy clothes
Water bottle
£2 for the studio hire
Your NGY card if you already have one
Anything else that you might need that not everyone would, e.g. asthma inhaler or whatever

Optional extras…
Music, on phone/ipod/similar
Notebook & pen/pencil, or phone or tablet, if you might want to make notes or swop contact details
Snack, or extra money for the food counter if it’s open
Dance shoes, if you don’t want to dance barefoot

Access: The NGY building has a wheelchair-friendly toilet, and a lift and ramps. If you have any other access needs, email dance-meetup @ non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk, and/or contact the staff at NGY, and we’ll do our best.

Map showing NGY myplace:

Bigger map showing NGY myplace

Transport: It’s just off Maid Marian Way and about 320 yards’ walk from the Old Market Square, hence not far from any of the city centre bus stops. Nearest tram stop is Old Market Square.

Parking: One simple method for parking is to use one of the Park and Ride sites and get the tram into town. Feel free to comment if you have other tips for city centre parking.

Teens-ish meetup with tour of NGY myplace, city centre, Wednesday 18 October

Tour of a fab resource in Nottingham City Centre that’s available to all young people 11-18 (& for some things, older). Plus discussion of possible future groups and meetups.

Date: Wednesday 18 October 2017.

Time: Tour at 3pm. Arrive around 2.45pm to allow time for getting membership cards and/or visitor access cards. If you’re there early, or first, there’s no need to wait for others before talking to the friendly reception person and sorting out your card.

Venue: NGY myplace, 29-31 Castle Gate, Nottingham NG1 7AR.

Area: Nottingham city centre, just off Maid Marian Way.

Age range: 11 is the minimum age for being a member of NGY. Parents are welcome to tag along for the tour, but needn’t unless you specially want to.

Probably best not to have younger siblings along on this occasion; Nottingham Central Library is about 500 yards away, and is open till 7pm on weekdays. If the weather’s warm(ish), another option is to bring a towel and go paddling in the nearby market square fountains.

Price: Free. (It’s £1 per person per hour for the dance studio, and 50p to use the gym – but free to look round, and free to use the social spaces when they’re open to your age group.)

Booking: If you know in advance that you’re planning to come for the tour, it would help to get a sense of numbers if you email teensish @ non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk.

Membership: Young people age 11-18 may like to join NGY, to be able to use the facilities in future. To save time on the day, you can download a membership form here and print it to fill in in advance. Or just pick up a form from reception on the day. It’s free to join – unless you lose your card, in which case you’d have to pay £1 for a replacement.

NGY myplace Facebook page.

Green and blue logo for NGY myplace, plus photos showing a gym with treadmills, a table-tennis bat and ball, and a lounge area with comfy chairs. The logo includes the address and phone number: 29-31 Castle Gate, Nottingham NG1 7AR, (0115) 704 3114.

Tour of a fab resource in Nottingham City Centre that’s available to all young people 11-18.

On this occasion, a load of home ed young people are going to look round together. But please note that 11-18-year-olds can actually drop into NGY myplace any time it’s open anyway, and if someone’s free to take you round, they’ll give you a tour then. So this isn’t the only opportunity to find out about it.

After we’ve looked round the building, we’ll spend a bit of time together, talking about groups or activities that young home ed people would like to have happen, and the practicalities of starting up a new event. The recently started Nottingham home edders’ dance meetup and Minecraft meetup both came partly from young people suggesting them, and it seems likely that other young home edders have other great ideas!

At 3.30, the social space opens to 11-16-year-olds (it’s 16+ in the early afternoon), so you’d have the option of staying on for a game of pool or table-tennis, or just to hang out with friends.

If you can’t make this meetup, but you have an idea for somewhere that home ed teens might like to go, or a meetup themed around some activity, you can still get in touch and share your idea. Feel free to email “info at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk” with suggestions, or for a chat if you’re thinking about organising something & not sure how best to do it. (Note: a few emails have gone missing recently, so please don’t assume your email arrived if you haven’t had a reply.)

Map showing NGY myplace:

Bigger map showing NGY myplace

Transport: It’s just off Maid Marian Way and about 320 yards’ walk from the Old Market Square, hence not far from any of the city centre bus stops. Nearest tram stop is Old Market Square.

Parking: One simple method for parking is to use one of the Park and Ride sites and get the tram into town. Feel free to comment if you have other tips for city centre parking.

Access: The NGY building has a wheelchair-friendly toilet, and a lift and ramps. If you have any other access needs, email teensish @ non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk, and/or contact the staff at NGY, and we’ll do our best.

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.

“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."

GCSEs etc for home ed teens: info event, Nottingham city centre, Wednesday 26 April

Note that New College Nottingham (NCN) and Central College are in the process of merging as Nottingham College – so although the venue this time is NCN, the courses being discussed here include the ones pioneered by Central College in recent years.

Date: Wednesday 26 April 2017.

Time: 6pm to 7pm. Recommendation: allow extra time at the end for possible chatting.

Venue: NCN City Campus, The Adams Building, Stoney Street, Nottingham NG1 1NG. Main entrance is up a flight of steps from Stoney Street; there’s also a back entrance from St Mary’s Gate. Either way, go to reception, and someone from the team will be around to direct you.

Area: East side of Nottingham City Centre, in between Lace Market Square and Stoney Street.

Price: This info event is free, and the courses are also free (government-funded).

Booking: Please book in advance for this info event if possible. You can email centralchoices@centralnottingham.ac.uk, or call 0115 884 2278. This is also a good way to express initial interest in the courses. However, extra people turning up on the night wouldn’t be turned away.

Age range: The various courses are for young people age 13 up. The info event is open to all. (Some parents will probably bring their children to hear the info first-hand.)

These courses are all ones which young people can do while keeping their status as “home ed”. In that way, it’s different from registering at a school.

Courses for 2017-2018 will include:

Year 9 is the academic year where you start age 13 & finish age 14.
Year 11 is the one you start age 15 & finish age 16.

If you already know what you want to do, you can download an application form (PDF) online already.

(For more description of all the options, look out for another post which we hope to do soon. Here’s the explanation from last year to be going on with; that’ll be useful to explain the jargon terms and overall framework, even though some of the details are out of date.)

Photo of Adams Building, New College Nottingham. It's a large brick building which used to be a lace mill. In front of it is a courtyard. The view is across the courtyard, showing a little bit of nearby buildings as well.

Map showing the Adams Building:

Bigger version of map showing the Adams Building

Page about NCN City Campus.

Nearest tram stop: “Lace Market”, about 100 yards away. All trams running through the city centre stop here. Tram information.

Nearest bus stops: “Fletcher Gate” and “Broad Street” are probably the nearest, each at around 200 yards away; the Victoria Centre is about 500 yards away.

Parking: Lace Market car park is run by the City Council. Stoney Street car park is run by NCP. They’re both pretty close, within 200 yards; Stoney Street is maybe a little bit closer, but also more expensive.

Access: Flat access to reception is available from the St Mary’s Gate / Lace Market Square side of the building. At time of writing, the room for the event had not yet been finalised, so please check with the organisers that the room they’re booking would also meet your access needs.

Art: Nottingham city centre on Tuesdays, Bingham on Wednesdays

These groups are run by Sam of Altered Art, for home edders 8+. Optionally, this can be part of working towards Arts Award qualifications (in which case you’d also do other things, e.g. going to some kind of arts event and reflecting on it). Or you can just explore creativity in different ways.


Bingham on Wednesdays

Date: Wednesday afternoons, potentially all year round.

Time: Two groups, each one hour. 2pm to 3pm, and 4pm to 5pm.

Venue: Folks and Fables café, 37 Long Acre, Bingham, Nottinghamshire, NG13 8AF.

Area: Bingham is about 9 miles east of Nottingham, via the A52, or 15 mins by train.

Price: £5 per young person per week, payable in 5 week blocks after an initial trial session, if required.

Physical access: The room where the art happens is up a flight of stairs. The main café area is downstairs, and parents are welcome to stay there.


Nottingham on Tuesdays

New group, starting soon. (The Bingham groups have been running a while.)

Date: Tuesdays, middle of the day, potentially all year round.

Time: 11am to 1pm.

Venue: The Dice Cup Café, 68-70 Mansfield Rd, Nottingham, NG1 3GY.

Area: North side of Nottingham city centre, next to Victoria Bus Station and just slightly north of the Victoria shopping centre.

Price: £8 per young person per week (2 hours), payable in 5 week blocks after an initial trial session, if required.

Physical access: The Dice Cup has flat access. There is a toilet with flat access and a wide door, but without extra bars to help with transfer from a wheelchair.


Information which applies to both venues

Booking or enquiries: contact samalteredart at gmail dot com. Not everyone has to start their five-week block on the same week, so you can potentially start any time if there’s space.

Age range: 8+

For Bronze Arts Award it’s ideally 10 years plus but in my current group in Bingham I’m currently teaching 8 – 14 year olds. I’m happy to discuss with parents their young person’s individual needs. I am qualified to teach from 4-25 years old under the Arts Award scheme and have taught Primary age within schools and adults in the community.

More about the activities:

I teach creative arts. Not drawing and painting as such but experimenting with different mediums and using different techniques. I vary my classes depending on where the young people’s interest lies. I use a lot of recycling and eco friendly products. My group in Bingham have created handmade books using a variety of techniques, some scrap doll/creature/monster/robots and we are now working on a set of Artist Trading Cards to swap with each other! I provide lots of exciting and stimulating materials. I show the young people the techniques needed to complete a project but I encourage a lot of exploration and personal development. There is no “getting it wrong” with my classes and I aim to boost self esteem and self-directed creativity.

I enjoy teaching art to home schooled young people for a number of reasons, including smaller group sizes allow my attention to be more concentrated on each young person, there’s no need for a fixed “learning outcome” and the development of the art projects flow more organically to where a young person’s interest lies rather than, in my experience, where a school wants them to be taught. There are more details about my education background and arts experience on my WordPress site.

Access:

I am happy to accommodate any young person or parent with autism or any learning disability, the location is quite calming and I have a lot of experience with young people who are on the autistic spectrum.

Altered Art website

Altered Art on Facebook

A collage of several photos. The one in the middle has a flower made of fabric. On the left, a young child is making a collage of an owl. Only a glimpse of their face can be seen. Their hands are holding a small piece of something. On the right, an older child with long hair is smiling to the left, as if interrupted in the middle of doing something with a small tin and some kind of pink craft. Across all the photos are the words "Altered Art by S size-mediumam",.


Travel info for Bingham

Map showing Folks and Fables:

Larger version of map showing Folks and Fables

Train: Bingham railway station is about 470 yards’ walk.

Bus:

The bus from Nottingham to Bingham is the Rushcliffe Mainline, run by Trent Barton buses, available to pick up on Friar Lane or Broadmarsh bus station.

Rushcliffe Mainline timetable at Trent Barton

Parking:

There is a free car park 5 minutes walk away and often some onstreet parking in front of the café.

Travel info for Nottingham

Map showing the Dice Cup:

Bigger version of map showing the Dice Cup

Nearest tram stop: “Nottingham Trent University”, about 800 yards’ walk. All trams through the city centre stop here. Tram information.

Nearest bus stops: “Victoria Bus Station” (where many of the Trent Barton buses terminate), “York House” and “Victoria Centre”. Many of the Nottingham City Transport buses come to one or other of these stops; the ones which don’t, mostly have stops on or near the Old Market Square, about 700 yards away.

Nottingham railway station and Broadmarsh bus station are less than a mile away.

Parking: at the Victoria Centre car park (click link for prices).

Tap jam, city centre, Sunday 19 February

Date: Sunday 19 February 2017.

Time: Tap jam itself is 7pm to 9pm. Extra workshop at 6pm, optional.

Venue: City Arts, 11-13 Hockley, Nottingham, NG1 1FH.

Area: Hockley area, east side of Nottingham city centre. Venue is about 700 yards east of the Old Market Square, just north of the ice rink.

Age range: All ages – as long as young ones are able to cooperate with the atmosphere. So when it’s not their turn to dance, they’d either be watching and encouraging the other dancers, or entertaining themselves fairly peacefully, e.g. with a game or book.

Price: Entry to tap jam £6 / Free after 8pm / Free for under-14s. Loan of tap shoes included if you don’t have your own (if they have the right size for you).

6pm-7pm workshop with special guest Junior Laniyan is £12, or £8 for under-14s. Or £15 combined price for workshop and jam.

Booking: No need to book, just pay on the door.

Organiser: Jess Murray from the Tap Rhythm Project. This isn’t a home-ed-specific event, but Jess ran some tap dancing try-out sessions for local non-schoolers last year, which were much enjoyed 🙂

Text: Tap jam with live band! Sunday 19 Feb. Colourful background, mostly abstract shapes, including some music notes. "Tap Rhythm Project" logo in blue at the top.

Facebook page for the event

A Tap Jam is a place for tap dancers to improvise with musicians and other tap dancers. Everyone is welcome, whether to take part or simply to watch and enjoy. Tap Rhythm Jams are open to dancers of all levels of experience, from complete beginners to professional performers. We even have tap shoes that you can use for free if you don’t have your own!

About the tap improvisation workshop, 6pm – 7pm (additional cost)…

Special guest Junior Laniyan will lead a musicality and improvisation workshop before the jam starts. You can try improvising in a low key environment and learn some easy approaches to get you started.

Video clip of Junior Laniyan and Andrew Nemr dancing at the London tap jam in 2010

Video clip of Annette Walker and Jess Murray dancing at the London tap jam in 2010

(You don’t have to be amazing dancers like them to give it a go! Beginners welcome!)

City Arts “how to find us” page, including access info.

The tap jam will be in the ground floor space, which has a wheelchair-accessible toilet and flat access.

Nearest tram stop: “Lace Market”. Any tram through the city centre will stop here. Tram information.

Nearest bus stops: “Hockley” opposite the venue (all red or lilac line inbound buses), “Boston Street” 150 yards (all red or lilac line outbound buses), “George Street” 350 yards (which is on the “city loop” bus route, so turquoise line all buses, green line all buses, orange line number 34). Bus information.

Parking: “Arena” car park, Lower Parliament Street, 150 yards – or on nearby streets. Outside the venue you can only drop off or pick up, not actually park.

GCSE & other courses for non-school teens at Central College, Nottingham

Update late 2017: please note that this writeup is about the 2016-2017 academic year, so OUTDATED by now – not least because Central College has since merged with New College Nottingham to form Nottingham College, and the GCSE courses are now at Stoney Street in the city centre, not in Beeston. However, the overall structure is likely to be similar, so if you’re looking into exams & courses for non-school teens, it might still be useful in helping you get your bearings.


This write-up is about free (government-funded) courses available to “electively home educated” teens at Central College, Nottingham. It’s based on an info event which was held at the college on Thursday 5 May 2016, plus some follow-up conversations.

Thanks to Jo Edgerton, Choices Team Leader at Central College, who was immensely helpful in explaining the practicalities of all this and decoding the jargon!

Overview by school “Year”

Central welcomes home ed teens from Year 9: that is, age 13+.

This translates as: To start in autumn 2016, you’d have to have been born before 1 September 2003.

And if you want to start one of the GCSE courses in autumn 2016, you’d normally1 have to have been born before 1 September 2002.

(Likewise, the people starting in autumn 2017 would’ve been born before 1 September 2004, or 2003 for the GCSEs.)

Here’s a summary of what’s available for 2016-2017:

Age group Age at start Age at end Current options at Central For autumn 2016 start, birth date before
Year 9 13 14 Pre-GCSE Programme

In exceptional cases, GCSEs1

1 Sept 2003
Year 10 14 15
  • Pre-GCSE

  • GCSEs

  • Art & Design

  • Possibly an ICT course, only if enough people interested

  • For those with learning difficulties/ disabilities, “Horizons”.

1 Sept 2002
Year 11 15 16
  • Everything that the Year 10s can do.

  • Various other vocational courses, along with non-home-ed students from older years. These are known as “infill placements”.

1 Sept 2001

Each of these courses is one year long – or, really, about 9 months, from September to June. How many days a week varies depending on the course(s).

Once you reach “Year 12“, there’s a huge amount available, and nothing to stop you continuing on at the college then, or indeed at another college! But this explanation will focus on ages 13 to 16, as that’s when these options will be especially useful to home ed families.

Geography & travel

Central College has multiple sites across Nottingham.

View college sites on OpenStreetMap. (If you’re on a computer with a mouse and can do “hovering”, hovering over each pin shows which subjects take place there. Or see static screenshot version further down this page.)

The home ed GCSE and pre-GCSE courses are all at the Beeston centre, which has a tram stop and orange/Indigo bus stop outside its front door. (Shown slightly brighter pink on OpenStreetMap page.)

Vocational courses may be at Clifton, Highfields, Beeston, or in the city centre, depending on the subject – list of subjects and locations are summarised below.

Central’s page with info on public transport to each of the sites.

Where we fit in to the college

Most of the college’s 4,500 students are between 16 and 19. A small proportion, only about 230 students in total, is younger than 16. Older adults are also welcome.

Within the college, the “Choices” team runs both the home ed courses and some other ones. (A school might pay for a young person to come to the college instead of to school.)

As the college overall is “a post-16 environment”, the Choices team people have thought a lot about what adjustments to make for supporting and including under-16s. For example, if a young person doesn’t arrive at their class, the parent gets a phone call. There’s a pre-course questionnaire to help identify special educational needs and any particular social needs.

There’s a large team of pastoral support people (for all students, not only the younger ones). A key person for this side of things is Vicki Stockdale, Behaviour and Safeguarding Manager.

The home ed courses are now going into their third year. In the academic year that’s recently completed, 50-odd home ed children age 13 to 16 were studying there.

Home ed teens can take part either in the courses specifically set up for them, or, for Year 11, in selected other courses around the college.

In principle, you can mix and match the different bits available to your age group, although not every combination will work. The timetables are organised centrally by the college, not by the “Choices” team.

You can take part in any of these courses and still retain your status as electively home educated – as you’re not registered with a school.

Levels

You’ll hear talk of “Levels”, so here’s a handy guide.

Level Roughly equivalent to…
Level 3 ‘A’ level, though more practical, not as academic.
Level 2 A* to C old-style GCSEs, 9 to 5-or-4 (approx) new-style GCSEs.*
Level 1 D to G old-style GCSEs, 3-or-4 to 1 new-style GCSEs.
Entry Level 3  
Entry Level 2  
Entry Level 1  

* Apparently the “old” GCSE ratings are being abolished soon, and there’s going to be a new scale of 1 to 9, where 9 is best. There are more divisions in grades in the new system, and new-style 9 is intended to be even better than old A star.

To start a course at Central, except for the Horizons ones, you’d need to be at least at Entry Level 3 or above, in both Maths and English, as shown by the initial assessment. Or more, depending on which course you wanted to do.

Year 9s who aren’t yet at that level would be advised to come back a year later.

Year 10s or Year 11s who aren’t yet at that level could access the Horizons “LLDD provision”, where LLDD stands for “Learners with Learning Difficulties & Disabilities”.

Assessments, discussions, decisions

When you start, the decision of which course(s) to start on would be made by the young person, the parents/carers and the college, together.

The process goes like this:

  1. You put in an application form.

    Choices programme page, inc link to application form.

  2. The Admissions team put your details into their system and send you a letter. This letter is an invitation something like “Come and do your assessment at this time and date and place”.

  3. Everyone does two online assessments at a computer at the college, one for English and one for Maths.

    There’s no time limit; you work at your own pace. You can choose whether to do English or Maths first. Most people complete both within one to two hours.

    The type of assessment is referred to as “Functional Skills”. The questions are meant to be similar to something you might encounter in real life: for example, how much it would cost to buy your tickets for a day out, or whether a sentence makes sense. Usually it’s easy questions to start with, then getting harder as you go through it.

    For the maths, you might use the calculator that’s on the computer. You don’t need to bring anything.

    (College policy is that everyone takes the English and Maths assessments when starting a new course, whether or not they’ve got existing qualifications – even if they’ve already been at the college a previous year.)

    You get your results on the day, and a chance to discuss your next steps with a member of staff from the Choices team.

  4. Within a couple of weeks, you get another letter. In most cases, this will be to invite you for an interview.

    (For Year 9s who aren’t yet at Entry Level 3, it would only be to say “Please come back next year”.)

  5. At the interview, the young person, the parent(s) and the college staff discuss which course(s) will suit them best, taking into account…

    • Level of your English and Maths skills.

    • Age, because of age limits for some of the courses.

    • Social maturity – if a course would involve being put in a group with people older than you.

    • General readiness for the new learning environment, e.g. study skills / habits / experience.

      For example, some people could jump straight into GCSEs in terms of their age and academic level, but prefer to spend a year doing pre-GCSE to get settled into the college routine.

    • Where you’d like to be headed in future. For example, if you want to continue to ‘A’ levels in future, you’re likely to need five GCSEs at grade C or above, including your future-‘A’-level subjects.

    • Funding rules from the Government.

      A key factor is that the Government’s very keen for everyone to get English and Maths qualifications. The funding rule in that area is: If you do more than 150 hours at the college over the year, your programme of study at the college has to include English and Maths, unless you already have the GCSE certificate at C or above.

      In practice, that means you can do one GCSE at a time without going over the 150 hours. Two GCSEs, or one and something else, and the rule kicks in.

    • Timetabling – as some combinations could clash.

    • Available places. At Central, English and Maths GCSE have a maximum class size of 20. For the other GCSEs, and the pre-GCSE course, it’s 15.

  6. If you’re doing one of the vocational courses, you might also have another meeting, this time with someone leading that particular area, to decide which level class you’d start in.

  7. [I’m not sure where the “pre course questionnaire” comes in this process – to be confirmed!]

As some options will be irrelevant to some people purely because of age, let’s take it year by year…

Year 9 options

If you’re Year 9 age, you have one main option: the Pre-GCSE Programme, described in the next section. This takes three days a week.

In exceptional cases, it might be possible for a Year 9 student to instead start GCSEs alongside the older ones. The Choices team would only consider this if (a) the young person were already at Level 2 in both Maths and English Functional Skills, and (b) they were socially ready to join the older classes.

Pre-GCSE Programme

From the leaflet (PDF):

This one year programme is for students in Year 9‑11 and will provide students with the skills that they need to progress on to a GCSE or vocational full time programme.

  • Level 1 & 2 Functional Skills in English and maths

  • BTEC Level 1 Certificate in Applied Science

  • Tutorial Programme that includes: Personal and Social Development and Employability and Progression skills

For this one, you can’t pick and choose among the different bits. It’s either do the whole lot, all three days a week, or don’t do it.

For example, in the 2016 to 2017 year, the draft timetable said Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, starting at 9am and finishing at 2.30pm, or 3.30pm on Thursdays.

Although everyone’s in the same class, they’re not necessarily doing exactly the same activities. A typical pathway would be to do Level 1 Functional Skills over the first half of the year, then Level 2 over the second half. But if, say, it took you all year to do Level 1, or if you were better at maths than English or vice-versa, that’s fine too.

Year 10 options

In Year 10, you can choose from:

  • The Pre-GCSE Programme described above.

  • GCSE courses.

  • BTEC Level 1 Certificate in Art and Design.

  • Possibly an ICT qualification, if there’s enough take-up.

  • In future years, possibly an “Automotive” programme. The web page for this is still up at the time of writing, but apparently there hasn’t been enough interest to run it in 2016-2017.

GCSEs

The current GCSE options are:

  • GCSE English

  • GCSE Double Science

  • GCSE Maths

  • GCSE Psychology

  • GCSE History

Over the year, each GCSE equates to approximately three hours a week in college. Double science is six hours and gives you two GCSEs at the end.

Typically, each subject would be scheduled as a three-hour chunk with a break in the middle, one morning or one afternoon a week. (There are pros and cons to this scheduling: they’re aware that students aren’t always keen on the long session, but the up side is it’s then easier to schedule the rest of the typical non-schooler’s busy week.)

GCSE exams for “external candidates”

At the moment, the five subjects listed above are the only GCSEs on offer. The main limitation to offering more different ones would be having staff to deliver the courses, as most of Central’s provision isn’t GCSEs. It’s not very likely to expand in the near future.

However, the college does also offer a paid service for “external candidates”, i.e. people who’ve done the learning elsewhere and want somewhere to take an exam.

That’s known as the “Exam only service“.

Art & design half-day

New in September 2016 for Years 9 & 10 is the Art & Design course for home educated students. It’s a BTEC Level 1 Certificate in Art and Design.

You can do this course by itself. It would be one half-day a week, at the Clifton site. Or you can do it together with another course, as long as the combination meets the Government’s funding rules and doesn’t clash in the timetable.

Year 11 options

In Year 11, you can choose from:

  • Any of the things from Years 9 and 10 described above, if they’re at the right level to suit you, and/or

  • Joining in with older students on a selection of “intensive vocational learning” courses across the college.

The jargon word for becoming part of the older ones’ courses is “infill“. So that option is known as the “Year 11 Infill Programme”.

Year 11 Infill Programme

Here are the “Infill” options:

Subject Where?
Art & Design Clifton
Automotive London Road
Business & IT Maid Marian Way
Care & Early Years Maid Marian Way
Construction Beeston
Engineering Highfields
Photography Maid Marian Way
Science Maid Marian Way
Sport Clifton
Travel & Tourism Maid Marian Way

Map showing central college sites in Beeston, Stapleford, Clifton, Highfields and the city centre. Based on a screen shot from OpenStreetMap, as linked elsewhere in article.

(Click on map to see it full-size. Or to zoom in for local details, use original map from which this screenshot was taken.)

Each of these courses would be about two-and-a-half to three days per week.

They can run alongside GCSEs and/or half-day add-ons, if the timetables don’t clash.

The qualification could be e.g. BTEC, City & Guilds, CACHE, IMIAL or another industry specialist one, depending on the course you’re doing. For more about each specific course, click through from the list at Central’s page for people age 14 to 16.

These courses are divided by “levels” (as discussed above), where Level 2 is meant to be roughly equivalent to GCSE A* to C, and Level 3 is roughly equivalent to ‘A’ level.

Home ed students could potentially do Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3. Which level you started at would depend on a combination of…

  • English & Maths levels from your initial assessment.

  • Other qualifications you’d already done.

  • Maybe a portfolio, e.g. if the course were art or photography and you already had work to show.

  • Discussion with the course leaders.

  • Whether you’re 16 yet, for some Level 2 and Level 3 courses. (Level 1 would be available to all Year 11s.) There are various reasons why the organisation running a qualification – known as the “awarding body” – might set a minimum age for Levels 2 or 3. The Choices team have sometimes been able to get exceptions where a 15-year-old could participate, by talking to the awarding body for that particular course – depending partly on why the limit was there in the first place.2

Even within the same level, on these vocational courses there can be several alternative classes running at different times of the week. So if you apply to these ones together with a friend, you could find yourself in different classes. But if you were at the same level, you could put in a request to be in the same class – no guarantees.

Finding out more

If your question isn’t answered here…

  • You could ring the Choices team on 0115 884 2278.

  • You could email them: centralchoices @ centralnottingham . ac . uk (without the spaces).

  • You could comment here (anonymously if you like) and we’ll invite the college people to comment back. This would be especially useful if you think other people might be wondering the same thing.

  • It’s also possible we’ll schedule another meeting.

Possible meet-and-chat

Brendan from the college kindly said that if there were enough of us – say 5 or 6 families – he or one of the team would be willing to travel to us, and do another little presentation and chat and answer our questions.

Subject to weather, this could be in a park, e.g. Wollaton or Highfields, so that children not very interested in the grownups’ chat can play. In that case, we would probably schedule a fall-back date in case of rain.

This possible meet-and-chat could also be a nice opportunity for some of the potential future-year-classmates to say hello.

If we do a meetup like that, it’ll be open to all current and potential home edders, and mentioned again on the blog. However, to find out whether enough people would be interested, please comment here (anonymously if you like, but including an email address) if you’d like to be invited.


Footnotes

1. Starting GCSEs in Year 9: As discussed later on in the explanation, a young person who’d already got far enough both academically and socially could possibly start GCSEs in Year 9, but this would be exceptional.

2. Minimum age 16 for some Level 2 & Level 3 courses: These age limits exist for varying reasons.

  • When it’s primarily because the government wants to discourage specialising at an early age, this likely wouldn’t apply to non-school students.

  • If it’s because of the content of the course, this would be a case by case basis, possibly depending partly on where the young person’s 16th birthday falls in the academic year.

  • If it’s because of health and safety, it’s unlikely to be varied.


Quick links to sections
GCSE & other courses for non-school teens at Central College, Nottingham
Overview by school “Year”
Geography & travel
Where we fit in to the college
Levels
Assessments, discussions, decisions
Year 9 options
Pre-GCSE Programme
Year 10 options
GCSEs
GCSE exams for “external candidates”
Art & design half-day
Year 11 options
Year 11 Infill Programme
Finding out more
Possible meet-and-chat


Note on anonymity when commenting:

If you put your email address in the “email” bit of a comment box here, it won’t be published. But blog admin people can see it, and (in this case) use it to make sure you know about the meetup.

The name you fill in would normally be shown, so if you don’t want your real name to be visible either, just write “Anonymous for this” in the “name” box, or use a made-up online name.

(All comments are pre-moderated to avoid spam, so don’t be surprised if your comment doesn’t pop straight up.)

Pint of Science festival, Nottingham City Centre, 23 to 25 May

Date: Monday 23 to Wednesday 25 May 2016.

Time: Evening. Exact start time varies by venue; typically around 7pm.

Venue: Four different venues in Nottingham City Centre each host on each of the three evenings – 12 different events in all, each with several speakers.

Age range: All ages. One of the four venues specifies that under-18s must be accompanied by an adult; the other three simply say “All ages welcome”.

Price: £4 per evening event, typically 3 different speakers explaining something about their research area.

Booking: via individual web pages on Pint Of Science web site.

Availability: At time of writing, most events still have places, though a few have sold out.

Our events fall into the following topics:

  • Beautiful Mind – neuroscience, psychology and psychiatry
  • Atoms to Galaxies – physics, chemistry, maths, astronomy
  • Our Body – medicine, human biology, health
  • Planet Earth – geosciences, plant sciences, zoology
  • Tech Me Out – biotechnology, robotics, computers
  • Our Society – law, history, politics, policy, languages

PintOfScience

The Pint of Science festival aims to deliver interesting and relevant talks on the latest science research in an accessible format to the public – all in the pub! We want to provide a platform which allows people to discuss research with the people who carry it out – no prior knowledge of the subject is required. It is run mainly by volunteers and was established by a community of postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers in 2012. The main festival takes place annually over three days in the month of May simultaneously in pubs across the world.

This is the first year that it’s come to Nottingham.

The Nottingham page at Pint Of Science has a map showing approx locations of each venue.