Age Groups:


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Dates to Remember
12-15 Years : Own Time
12 -15 age period characterised by change physiological, social , psychological and emotional with the onset of puberty.

Relationship with peers assumes a greater significance and importance in a young persons development.

Personal and behavioural boundaries are continually challenged as the young person begin to assert their independence.

OST Services: Out of School  (OST ) programmes are a unique institution. They provide young people with the kinds of learning experiences and opportunities that may not be offered to children in their homes or classrooms. They offer young people opportunities to learn new things and develop important skills that are crucial to success in school and in life. They can engage all children, across ages and abilities, regardless of their learning styles and past history of success in the classroom. And they do all of this in the hours “between the school bell and the dinner bell”, transforming a time that parents, educators and law enforcement describe as “high risk” to one of learning and opportunity for young people.

Children at this age (12-15 years old) are starting to feel their way towards independence. During this time they become more self-aware, look for strong friendships and enjoy accomplishments. From adults, they continue to need guidance, support, praise and engagement.

After school programs for children this age should offer a variety of activities. They should allow children to reach a goal or complete a project. Programmes should also encourage children to connect with other students, their family and organisations in their community.

Programmes should include the following elements;

  • Both large and small group activities
  • Experiences that allow discussion of ethics, values and social issues with adults
  • Volunteer or service opportunities
  • Projects based in real-world experiences
  • Projects involving problem solving, reading, math and science
  • Opportunities for children to express themselves in different ways
  • Opportunities for children's voices to be heard
  • Activities that involve decision making, leadership and group work
  • Adults who guide and encourage students

Case Studies:

  • Growing Up in Ireland Themes 13 Year olds
  • Access to a range of national and international case studies on OST provision in a variety of circumstances more »

Types of Programme:

  • Sidewalk Curriculum An Arts based OST programme Here
  • Engaging Older Youth read more »
  • Programme Databases access an extensive range of programmes that are suitable for this age more »


Check out: Transition Programmes HERE


Parenting24seven, an online resource offering evidence based key messages on what works best for children and families at different stages of growing up and in different situations.  Source Tusla

Bullying a key issue in young peoples lives read more »

Adolescent Growth and Development read more »

Why Teens are not involved in OST programmes Child Trends HERE