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Dates to Remember


9-11 Years : OWN TIME

The 9-11 year period is characterised by a number of key transitions, none more significant than leaving primary school and starting in secondary school.

Home and family life is still the most important influence in a child's life but increasingly friends school and other things are becoming more influential in their life.

In terms of emotional and intellectual ability the child's speed and efficiency of thought increases, spatial working memory improves, emotional regulation becomes greater, planning and problem solving skills increase, and scientific reasoning and ability to understand one's own thinking develops. By this age their tastes and skills are pretty well defined

Own Time Activity becomes sophisticated and increasingly symbolic. Activity in the preteen years often is a group production, and the pastimes this age group prefer reflect that, group activities, organised sport . At the same time, this age group spend lots of time and concentration on individual interests, which might include books, music, games.

This is the age when a child moves from childhood into early adolescence.

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 often 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 9-11 year generally consist of supervised structured programmes occurring in school time after school in Homework Clubs or in the evening in youth 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

During the Summer period OST services generally provide Summer Programmes during July.

Case Studies: Growing up in Ireland

Key Findings Series:

Types of Programme:


  • 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
  • Irish Times Reading and Your Child November series 2012 The Irish Times has consulted experts in the primary learning and support, and identified key areas that cause problems for primary-school children. The result is a 10-minute-a-day plan that helps parents support the work of teachers and helps children progress in stubborn areas.
  • 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
  • Concept to Classroom is an online series of FREE, award-winning professional development workshops covering important and timely topics in education. The workshops are intended for teachers, administrators, librarians, or anyone interested in education -- and there's no technical expertise required.
  • INCLUDE is part of CfBT Education Trust group, a national charity, and is dedicated solely to tackling the crisis of social exclusion amongst young people. Include/CfBT Education Trust is a UK based independent not-for-profit organisation with an overarching goal of making a contribution to the academic achievement and personal development of young people and adults Good section on draft policicies on bullying, behaviour more »
  • Busy Bodies Adolescent Development Programme provides information on the physical and emotional changes that children may experience during puberty, to reassure them that puberty is a normal part of growing up.  Busy Bodies is a useful resource to help in providing information on puberty to children aged between 10 and 14.
  • Child Development: 9- to 12-Year-Olds In late elementary and middle school your child experiences a period of tremendous intellectual, social-emotional, and physical change. School demands increase, friends become as important as family, and puberty begins to reshape her body. This is also a time when individual differences among children become more apparent. Source US.


Check out: Transition Programmes HERE


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