Teens-ish meetup, Nottingham, Wednesday 27 March

Date:  Wednesday 27 March 2019.

May be postponed if weather forecast changes too far in the direction of rainy!

Time:  1.30pm to 3.30pm, and probably some will stay on longer, depending on weather & what everyone’s doing 🙂

(Please note, that’s a slightly later meetup time than some previous ones.)

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!

We did a few of these meetups before.  Typically there might be a dozen or so local home edders in the teens-ish age range, as well as maybe a few younger siblings.

New families are very welcome.  There will probably be a mix of people who have met before and people who haven’t.  There are usually a few autistic teens (though we can’t guarantee that).  We’ll try to be extra friendly if you don’t know anyone!

As people arrive, we encourage everyone to wear a name label unless they specially don’t want to, as it helps with learning names and not having to worry about remembering them.

Some of the teens-ish people might go off for a walk together while the parents stay back at base and have a chat.  Or this time, as it’s chillier weather, perhaps we’ll all go off for the walk.

Sometimes, we’ve played a parachute game where we call 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 helped people to get past feeling shy.

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

Things you might want to bring:  sun cream, warm clothes, snacks, water, maybe a hot drink in a thermos, and a way to write down other people’s contact details.  Also, waterproof things to sit on, and/or an old towel to wipe any rain off damp benches – though at the time of writing, the weather forecast is fine.

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.

Teens-ish meetup, Nottingham, Monday 11 February

Update:  this meetup is CANCELLED – not enough families could make it this time.  We’ll look for a better date later in the year.


Date: Monday 11 February 2019.

May be postponed if weather forecast changes too far in the direction of rainy!

Time: 1.30pm to 3.30pm, and probably some will stay on longer, depending on weather & what everyone’s doing 🙂

(Please note, that’s a slightly later meetup time than the previous one.)

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!

We did a few of these meetups before.  Typically there might be a dozen or so local home edders in the teens-ish age range, as well as maybe a few younger siblings.

New families are very welcome.  There will probably be a mix of people who have met before and people who haven’t.  There are usually a few autistic teens (though we can’t guarantee that).  We’ll try to be extra friendly if you don’t know anyone!

As people arrive, we encourage everyone to wear a name label unless they specially don’t want to, as it helps with learning names and not having to worry about remembering them.

Some of the teens-ish people might go off for a walk together while the parents stay back at base and have a chat.  Or this time, as it’s chillier weather, perhaps we’ll all go off for the walk.

One time, we played 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 helped people to get past feeling shy.

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

Things you might want to bring: warm clothes, snacks, water, maybe a hot drink in a thermos, and a way to write down other people’s contact details.  Also, waterproof things to sit on, and/or an old towel to wipe any rain off damp benches – though at the time of writing, the weather forecast is fine.

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.

Teens-ish meetup, Nottingham, Wednesday 2 January

Date: Wednesday 2 January 2019.

May be postponed if weather forecast changes to rainy!

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!

We did a few of these meetups before.  Typically there might be a dozen or so local home edders in the teens-ish age range, as well as maybe a few younger siblings.

New families are very welcome.  There will probably be a mix of people who have met before and people who haven’t.  There are usually a few autistic teens (though we can’t guarantee that).  We’ll try to be extra friendly if you don’t know anyone!

As people arrive, we encourage everyone to wear a name label unless they specially don’t want to, as it helps with learning names and not having to worry about remembering them.

Some of the teens-ish people might go off for a walk together while the parents stay back at base and have a chat.  Or this time, as it’s chillier weather, perhaps we’ll all go off for the walk.

One time, we played 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 helped people to get past feeling shy.

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

Things you might want to bring: warm clothes, snacks, water, maybe a hot drink in a thermos, and a way to write down other people’s contact details.  Also, waterproof things to sit on, and/or an old towel to wipe any rain off damp benches – though at the time of writing, the weather forecast is fine.

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.

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.

Advice meetup, Bestwood, Thursday 19 October

A few “veteran” home ed parents, some with grown-up children, are kindly offering to chat at this informal library meetup with other parents who’d like their advice.  This is for parents newly home educating or seriously considering it, or people who’ve been home edding for a while & would like to confer with someone more experienced.  (Not for people with a purely professional interest.)

Date: Thursday 19 October 2017.

Time: 1pm to 3.30pm.

Age range:  All ages welcome.  While the parents are chatting, children & young people can browse in the library, play on the park, try the nearby skate park etc. Southglade Leisure centre is on the same site, inc swimming pool with flume.

Venue: Southglade Park Library, Bestwood, Nottingham, NG5 5GU.

Area: The library is on Southglade Park, on the number 16 brown line bus route (also not far from 15, 17, 79, 89, threes, 141 – see travel info below). It’s about 3½ miles north of the city centre, just east of the Hucknall Road.

Price: Free.

Booking: No need to book.

Southglade Park Library page on City website
Southglade Park Library page at Culture24
Southglade Park Library page at Leisure for Kids
Southglade Leisure Centre (inc swimming pool with flume)

The words "Advice meetup" appear in elegant cursive writing against a background photo of a map and compass. The map is of Nottingham.

Advice Meet-up

Due to the high number of new home educators and others asking for information or support, four of the admin team [of the Nottingham/Notts home ed Facebook group] are going to be available to try to answer questions and offer advice where needed.

We will be at Southglade Park Library. There will be access to the public library, there is a play park and skate park in the same area. We look forward to meeting you. The Admin Team. 🙂

Map showing Southglade Park Library:

Bigger map showing Southglade Park Library

Nearest bus stop: “Padstow Road“, on the 16 route, Brown Line. It’s near the gate to the park, and the library is about 200 yards away.

“Gala Way” bus stop is on the Hucknall Road, about 500 yards away to the west. Trent Barton “threes” & 141 stop there.

“Eastglade Road” bus stop is the nearest on the Beckhampton Road, about 850 yards away to the east. Buses which call there: Brown Line 15, Turquoise Line 79, Purple Line 89.

“Gorse Court” bus stop is about 900 yards away, on the Hucknall Road, and the number 17, Brown Line, stops there, before turning off to the west.

Trams:  Bulwell tram stop is about a mile to the west.  You’d need to be on a Hucknall tram.  Tram information.

Parking: Car parking is available at the Southglade Park site.

Access: Access info not available yet, but from photos it looks as though the whole building is on one floor. Will update if we find out more.

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.

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.

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.

Forest School at Broxtowe Country Park, Wednesday mornings, free

Update July 2017: This group has finished for the time being, as the ranger has moved to a different park. You can check the Facebook page to see if it’s re-starting in another location.


Date: Wednesday mornings in term time.

Time: 10am to 12 noon.

Venue: Meet by the gate of Phoenix Park Adventure Playground, 52a, Westleigh Road, Nottingham, NG8 6JY.

Venue update: “the meeting location has now changed. It is now at the new park entrance, by the BMX track. Postcode: NG8 6GT“. I.e. the entrance at the end of Alwyn Road, where it meets Woodfield Road & Lindfield Road.

Area: Edge of Broxtowe Country Park, Broxtowe.

Age range: “Any age, but need to be able to concentrate and follow guidance, as we may have fire, tools etc.”

Price: Free, as it’s run by a Park Ranger.

Organiser: alastair dot glenn at nottinghamcity dot gov dot uk.

Facebook page for Forest School at Broxtowe Country Park

Booking: No need to book, just turn up. The Facebook page is visible to anyone, whether or not they’ve got a Facebook account, so you may want to have a look first to see if there’s anything special happening that week, or check for last-minute cancellations.

A path ahead is blocked by a bright green metalwork double gate made of plant-like shapes. Above the gate is a decorative metal sign reading "Phoenix Adventure Playground". To the right is an opening where a person could walk through but bike handlebars would be stopped by the metal frame. The edges of two houses show, one each side of the path. Trees are silhouetted in the distance. A less decorative sign in the background labels it as "Broxtowe Country Park and Phoenix Adventure Play Area", and shows some icons, but the icons are too far away to decode properly by this photo.

From Alastair, the Park Ranger:

Term time, Wednesdays 10am-12pm.

Run by Broxtowe Park Ranger Alastair Glenn. I have much more experience running activities for older children (10yrs+) but anybody is welcome and hopefully we can learn and have fun together!

From a home ed parent:

It’s our favourite activity during the week! Very nice to be in a wild park, in a different age group of home ed kids, and do some nature crafts and educational projects, games and free play. Welcome!

From another home ed parent:

We really love it. The kids have really got into it. We don’t make it every week, but they miss it if we don’t.

Alistair is great with my very shy kids. He has encouraged them and engaged with them. When we go, they talk about it for the rest of the day.

Physical access:

Mostly off the path, may be rough/wet ground. No toilets on site (plenty of trees).

Map showing the entrance to the park that’s the (updated) meetup point:

Full page larger map of the same thing.

Nearest bus stops (updated to reflect new meeting point): “Denton Green”, on the 78 route, Turquoise Line, or “Coleby Road Top” which is on either the 78 route or the 35 bus, Orange Line. These are about 300 yards from the park entrance meetup point, near the roundabout at the other end of Alwyn Road.

(Note that some families will already know that roundabout as the home of Nottingham City Gymnastics Club.)

Next nearest: The 77 bus, Turquoise Line, stops at “Flamsteed Road”, about 800 yards west of the meetup point.

Parking: There’s on-street parking on nearby roads.

Teens-ish meetup, Nottingham, Wednesday 7 June

Date: Wednesday 7 June 2017, afternoon. 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).

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 ones 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.

Price: Free.

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.

There are definitely some in that age group who’d specially like to meet other people of similar age, so it makes sense to invite them all into the same place!

Near the beginning, we’ll have an introduction circle where people can say their name, and optionally a bit about what they’re into. For those doing courses at Nottingham College in the autumn, we’ll make an opportunity for people to find out who else is going to be in their class.

We encourage everyone to bring things like crafts or frisbees or a football, and invite other people to join in, so that no-one feels left out, and it’s easy to get chatting without being put on the spot in an awkward way.

Other 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.

This was the winning date in a survey which 22 families answered. As it’s looking so popular, and as not everyone could do that date, maybe we’ll do another one in future. If you can’t make it this time, or want to get together before this one’s happened, bear in mind that some teens have been coming to the Thursday Free Play meetups.

Based on the survey, we expect around 20 non-schoolers in the 11-18ish age range at this meetup, depending on which families turn up in the end.

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.