Wolves Play Cafe – The World Around Us
Wolves Play Café is a not-for-profit organisation to support young children and their parents and caregivers in Wolverhampton.
What was the Challenge?
Families in the Whitmore Reans, St Peter’s Ward in inner-city Wolverhampton area are affected by having few opportunities to explore local attractions or paid experiences. There is a lack of accessible science activities for 0-5 children in this area of the city outside of school and pre-school for parents and caregivers to interact with their children without price, time and location barriers. The area has the highest amount of reported crimes in the city therefore children have limited outdoor exposure due to safety concerns from parents.
The World Around Us’ will deliver ten 2 hour science play sessions in term-time from September 2019 to July 2020 for under 5s and their caregivers in Wolverhampton. This project aims to develop an early curiosity and knowledge base in the world around us, based on the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum and working with a community space with the outdoor provision to deliver these sessions. The sessions will be fully funded, meaning barriers to those from low-income households will be removed to allow access for all.
What Impact has it Made?
The project impacted over 80 children and 50 parents/caregivers in Wolverhampton. Response to the project was overwhelmingly positive with sessions becoming fully booked very quickly with over 70% of those attending wanting to return for additional sessions. Attendees reported they had a heightened awareness of STEM and it’s applications in everyday life with parents reporting an increase in interest from children in STEM subjects following the sessions.
We are thrilled to receive our grant from Millennium Point Charitable Trust. This has enabled Wolves Play Café to access and engage with 100 under 5s across 10 and 75 caregivers across 10 ‘The World Around Us’ play sessions.
The project, with the help of this grant, has created opportunities for very young children to develop their STEM learning from an early age, by delivering ten sessions across 10 months but the resources and planning used to deliver them will be a long-term investment in STEM in the region as it provides the organisation with the opportunity to repeat the sessions and their proposed impacts following the initial programme.
Under 5s will have opportunities to develop curiosity in the world around us’, to develop basic problem-solving and experiment skills and develop a basic knowledge of natural science. Furthermore, parents and caregivers of under 5s will have an opportunity to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness, increasing their wellbeing. By parents and caregivers also being part of the sessions, there will be an opportunity to build science capital in both children and adult audiences, again supporting the regional STEM provision in the West Midlands.
Why Did They Receive a Small Grant?
The project targeted the inner-city wards in Wolverhampton that are in the top percentile for deprivation with over 50% children in the area affected by poverty or situations of deprivation, 65% BAME and 30% ESL residents. Wolves Play presented an insightful project with a sound strategy to help children and parents in the local community engage in STEM in ways that would not have been possible otherwise. Similarly, the sessions provided the community with much-needed activity and the means to come together in a safe space.
- Curation and delivery of the programme.
- Purchases of resources and materials as part of the programmes.