Age Groups:


Latest News
Read the latest news. More»
Latest Reports
Links to new reports. Read more»
Dates to Remember
5-8 Years : OWN TIME
Although parents and home still remain the most powerful force in your life, beginning primary is a huge change, even for those children who attended pre school and child care services.

Children begin to extend their range of skills, develop friendships, socialise in a variety of situations and begin to understand that there is a wider world and begin to find their place.
Out of School Time:

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, youth services and gardai describe as “high risk” to one of learning and opportunity for young people.

Types of activity :

Out of school hours activities take many different forms:

  • curriculum-focused activities (including IT, homework clubs, booster and revision sessions);
  • arts, crafts and drama;
  • sporting and physical activity;
  • outdoor and adventurous activities;
  • hobby and games clubs (such as chess);
  • community service (including volunteering);
  • peer education and mentoring;
  • breakfast clubs;
  • weekend programmes (including supplementary and mother tongue schools run by community groups); and
  • holiday programmes (such as summer schools).

OST Services:

OST programmes for the 5-8 year generally consist of supervised structured programmes occurring in school time after school in Homework Clubs . Children in this age group are looking for new and exciting experiences. They are exploring their own abilities physically and intellectually. They have a strong sense of fairness and enjoy rules and routines. OST programmes should offer lots of choices and expose them to new ideas within a structured safe and supervised environment.

Programmes should include the following elements;

  • Low ratio of students to adults with lots of interaction with adults
  • Outside and active experiences as well as quiet time
  • Opportunities to use imagination and creativity
  • Projects that apply to their every day lives in school, home or in the community
  • Exposure to other cultures
  • Projects that encourage kids to read, do math or experiment to solve every day or real problems
  • Opportunities to do a mixture of hands-on, social, active and quiet activities
  • Activities that encourage communication and writing
  • Games, activities or chores that students do regularly

Case Studies:

  • Access to a range of national and international programmes for children and young people in a variety of circumstances more »

Types of Programme:

  • Access to an extensive range of programmes that are suitable for this age cohort found in the following publication "Voice and Choice" a collaborative project on behalf of the Limerick City Childcare Committee and the Targeting Educational Disadvantage Project (TED) at the Curriculum Development Unit, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick. PDF »
  • Transition Programmes Here


  • Ages and Stages of Youth Development To understand child development, you don’t have to earn a degree in the subject matter.  There are some basic concepts that you can learn that will help you to effectively communicate and work with children of all ages.  This link is to a powerpoint presentaion that looks at four age groupings and identify characteristics of their development in four different areas.  Those four areas include their physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development.  
    Source: Cheryl Newberry Extension Program Specialist—4-H
  • A resource Guide for Starting up an after schools programme
  • Managing Behaviour .read more »


  • Lists for ;Planning, Consulting, Recruiting, Training, Starting Off, Operating, Wrapping up, Reviewing, Promoting OST more »