The August Hermann Francke after-school centre
In the August Hermann Francke After-School Care Centre approximately 200 primary school children aged 6 to 12 years are supervised and attended to by nine child-care workers and one head. The Foundations founded the centre in 2001.
After complete renovation of the children’s day care centre in 2005, the Centre now occupies a complete floor, which can be adapted to the varied daily routine in a functional and flexible manner.
This centre is an after-school leisure educational institution aimed at providing a counterbalance to school and offering activities in a leisure atmosphere. This goal is realised by means of semi-open work. In addition to group work during which for example homework is done, the children can take part in special projects. Sport activities are possible, as are reading clubs and composing essays in order to contribute to the broadening of school knowledge. In order to achieve this staff members work together with parents, schools and other institutions. The after- school centre considers it important to provide children with a wide range of activities in order to enhance their social skills in an enduring manner.
Our after-school care centre is an educational institution offering children recreation and a counterbalance to the time spent in school. With the help of open day-care work various activities and projects for children of all ages can be undertaken.
The children can help fashion and co-determine the programme. They can select their own activities from what is on offer.
Important cornerstones of our work in the after-school care centre are to promote non-violence and to help children develop communicative and social skills to deal with conflicts. The staff place especial emphasis on intercultural activities, which involve parents and families in enabling the successful integration and co-determination of the children’s recreational world, as well as mutual contact and compromise. Diversity is enriching; growing up, playing and learning together is a prerequisite for tolerance and acceptance; diversity amongst the children also implies diversity in working with the children and their parents. In 2011, the August Hermann Francke after-school care centre was awarded the Inclusion Prize (Integrationspreis) of Saxony-Anhalt for its intercultural work.
Since September 2001 fourth-grade children have been given special life-oriented supervision to encourage independence and the formation of identity, to expand the children’s free space and the configuration of the transition from the primary school to further forms of education. By and large, the children themselves shape their own leisure activities and opportunities, experimenting in many fields.
Our centre provides the following activities:
A hearing club, speech training, sports and exercise games, a science lab, a handicraft workshop, games from all over the world, a narration workshop and special intercultural activities.
An essential element, too, is cooperation with other cultural, educational and recreational facilities in the neighbourhood and in the city, as well as with Halle’s social services. Special focus lies on a stable collaboration and joint activities with the primary school.
KiTec “Technology for Children” Project
The KSB Group Halle provided us with the possibility of incorporating the KiTec “Technology for Children” project into our work. Regular visits to artists and craftsmen were already on the curriculum in Francke’s day. The idea of illustrating information by means of practical experience and models is not revolutionary, as it had first been included as a paedagogical concept at the Francke Foundations during the early eighteenth century, which benefited boys and girls of all social classes.
In this tradition the Francke Foundations’ after-school care centre, thanks to its project partner, the KSB Group Halle, participates in the “Technology for Children” project, set up by the Wissensfabrik e.V. Children discover technology. With the help of materials and instruction manuals provided by Wissensfabrik e.V., young experimenters can try their hand at various tasks such as construction or automobile technology and electrical engineering. Learning how to expertly handle the required tools and acquire basic knowledge in several fields of technology is merely one aspect. Developing ideas and solving problems collectively trains social skills and stimulates creative thinking.
During a 2-day workshop, staff members and children of the after-school care centre received a practical introduction to the project, including comprehensive basic knowledge as to the materials and their respective application. “We were allowed not only to experience how exciting and interesting, but also how much fun it is to potter about, puzzle over and try out. With the help of the accompanying handbooks even the inexperienced hobbyists among us could complete their work. We could not help feeling utterly astonished about being able to build a suspension bridge, ‘self-driving’ cars or a draw-bridge.”
The pool of ideas and material of the project is far from exhausted and will continue to inspire the craftsmanship of children at the after-school care centre in the future.