Posted on Monday 20th March 2023
Children enjoying HAF activities whilst learning a new language at Lingotot
Families on a low income will be able to choose from even more activities as new providers join the Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme.
The county council run scheme is available to eligible children aged between five and sixteen on benefits related free school meals.
The programme includes physical play, fun activities, nutritional advice, and a healthy hot meal where possible. Funding is provided by the Department for Education.
Since the scheme launched in summer 2021, more than 50 providers including charities, community groups, schools and other organisations have joined the scheme, making over 138,000 free places available across the county.
Joining the scheme in time for the Easter break, is Lingotot based in Cannock. The club offers primary school aged children the chance to learn languages through creative interactive activities, with themes from Harry Potter to The Three Little Pigs.
Amy Rowsell, Managing Director, said:
“We are targeting children who may not always engage in learning through traditional methods and who would benefit from active learning and approaches.
“For the Easter HAF programme, our interactive learning will focus on spanish. This will include games, scavenger hunts outside, craft activities to make props and act out stories in spanish, plus some cookery activities, such as fruit kebabs to learn colours.
“We believe languages are for everyone and we want our children to have fun without realising they're learning.”
Sarah Cotterill, whose daughter attends the clubs, said: “The method of teaching using songs, games and stories makes learning fun for families. Amy is fantastic with my daughter who looks forward to the sessions.”
Philip White, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills at Staffordshire County Council, said:
“We continue to build on our HAF offering, to make sure as many children as possible can access the activities and hot food in the holidays.
“It’s an important programme that gives families that extra bit of support during the school holidays. We now have over 50 different providers across the county which is great. It means there’s now an even bigger range of activities for children to choose from, so there will be something for everyone.
“We’re extremely pleased with how the scheme has developed since it launched back in summer 2021. Since then, more than 128,000 free places have been made available, with a further 10,746 places being made available this Easter.”
Other new clubs will also be operating in South Staffordshire, including Sportscool who run mainstream sports and craft sessions, in addition to activities for children with special educational needs.
Sarah Tunnicliffe from Sportscool said:
“We want to be as inclusive as possible and offer the same opportunities for fun to children who may need more support in social settings.
“We’re all geared up for some great activities such as fencing, archery, ultimate frisbee and even glow-in-the-dark dodgeball!”
HAF activities will run from Monday 3rd April until Friday 14th April, with the majority of activities in the second week.
All those eligible for the programme will have received a registration code from their school. Parents/carers should go to www.staffordshire.gov.uk/holidayactivities to register for a timetable of activities in their local area.
To apply for free school meals, visit Apply online - Free School Meals - Staffordshire County Council