Teens-ish meetups, Nottingham, typically one a month

For teens-ish non-schoolers who’d specially like to meet others of similar age.

Date:  currently usually a Monday, Wednesday or Friday.

Time:  1.30pm to 3.30pm, or up till teatime depending on weather & what everyone’s doing 🙂

Venue:  a Nottingham park.

Price:  Free.

Age range:  Primarily 12 to 17, and see further info.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

What about 11-year-olds?  What about 19-year-olds?

There’s no strict age limit;  it’s mostly about wanting the teenager-ish hanging-out flavour.  So even a 10-year-old could join in if that’s what they’re looking for. 

Can younger siblings tag along?

Yes, 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.

Is it open to new people?

Yes, any home edders are very welcome, as well as people seriously considering it for their family.  Please do come along!  It’s a good opportunity to dip your toe into the local networks.

Can teens come along by themselves?

Yes – some have. 

Can I drop off my teen(s), go to do errands, and come back later?

Usually that would work fine, yes.  Unless your errands take a very long time or the weather gets bad, it’s quite likely that a good number of people would be staying on till whenever you’d be back.  Whether you want to do it like that is basically between you and your young person, and any other parents you enlist to keep an eye.

Can parents come along by themselves?

Yes – parents are welcome to drop in with or without their children, and take the opportunity to chat to the other parents.  If you’re at the “considering and finding out about home ed” stage, this is a lovely meetup to visit.

What if it rains on the day?

If it’s really wet, we’re quite likely to postpone to another day.  If it’s just drizzly, probably some people will still want to go. 

How do I find out the date and place?

There’s now an email announcements list which is specifically for organising this and similar events, for Nottingham non-school teens. (It’s only for occasional announcements of practical news – not a discussion list.)

To get on that list, if you’re not already on one of the main lists or groups where local home ed families plan things, please email teensishmeetup at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk, and introduce yourself.

Would we need to book in advance? 

It’s not essential.  Typically there’s an announcement of a possible date, and then the event will only be confirmed and go ahead if a reasonable number of people say they’d go.  So if you’re pretty sure you’re going this time, it’s useful for the event organisation if you say so.  But there are often a few extra people turning up on the day as well.

What should we bring?

Things for being comfortable whatever the weather is 🙂 E.g. water, sun cream, warm &/or cool clothes, snacks, maybe a hot drink in a thermos, waterproof things to sit on, and/or an old towel to wipe any rain off damp benches.

Also, a way to write down other people’s contact details, in case you meet people you want to keep in touch with. 

Description of a typical meetup

As of mid-2019, we’ve evolved a pattern along the lines of…

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.

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.

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!

Soon after the official start time, the young people play 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 runs underneath the parachute and swaps places.

This game is a good one for people who feel shy, as it’s a way of getting to know everyone else a little bit without actually having to say any words. 

Then we go for a walk. This usually includes people mingling around a bit and chatting. Some young people get straight to talking with friends old & new; some prefer to walk together with their parent(s) till they settle in. Whatever they feel comfortable with is fine.

Some people leave at the end of the walk, or even part way through if they have to be somewhere else. 

Then we find a place that’s comfortable for parents to sit. Some people have brought drinks and food for this stage. Depending on where we are, this could be near a playground. (Yes the teens are not too cool to go on the playground still 🙂 )

Typically some of the young people will sit with their parents for part of the time & join in the general conversation, others will prefer to hang out & chat with each other.

On past occasions, some of us ended up not leaving till about 5pm or 6pm, though some had to go earlier, and in summer, it might even be later.

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 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, 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.

Dance meetups, 11 to 18, Nottingham city centre, various afternoons

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

Date: We’re resuming for 2018. To hear when dates are fixed, make sure you’ve been in touch with dance-meetup at non-school-nottingham dot org dot uk, so that you can be sent emails.

In the past, we’ve varied the day-of-the-week, so that it won’t always clash with the same other things, to enable more people to join in sometimes.

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

Venue membership, free: 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: You don’t have to book as such – but it’s a good idea to be in touch and say you’re planning to come, just in case there was a week when plans changed at the last minute.

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.

Minecraft (MCPE) meetup, Sherwood, Wednesday once a month

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: Wednesdays 8 November & 6 December 2017 – and likely to continue once a month after that too.

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.

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.

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.

“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."

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.