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Free Saturday Classes for Local Young People at St Mary’s University

Back for 2023/24, National Saturday Club are offering their most extensive programme of free weekend classes for 13–16-year-olds at St Mary’s University, Twickenham (SMU) ever.

students taking part in national saturday club in drama studio

Back for 2023/24, National Saturday Club are offering their most extensive programme of free weekend classes for 13–16-year-olds at St Mary’s University, Twickenham (SMU) ever.

The National Saturday Club supports young people across the UK to access free creative tuition at their location university. Applications are now open for young people to apply to any of the three SMU Saturday Clubs:

  • The Performance&Theatre Club (Youth Theatre) will run from Saturday 4th November 2023. Now in its third year, the Club functions as the Drama St Mary’s Youth Theatre, with high quality facilitation delivered by past and current BA Acting students at SMU. The teenage Club members develop their self‑expression, and communication skills, building to a performance in July.

  • The Society&Change Club is focused on humanities subjects, and will run from Saturday 27th January 2024. Club members will explore the issues that are shaping the world today from climate change to new technologies and global interconnectivity and will reflect on how their own voices can influence these issues in future.

  • The new Science&Engineering Club will be launched on Saturday 24th February 2024. Following the recent launch of the Computer Science BSc at SMU, the Club will allow members to experience different academic subject areas on campus, and to consider the future career paths open to the next generation of creative and innovative scientists and engineers.

On average, 75% of students participating in the Clubs at SMU meet one or more Widening Participation criteria such as being eligible for Free School Meals, or from an underrepresented ethnic background.

Reflecting on their participation last year, the parent of a young person said: “My daughter has become far more confident and mature as a result of Saturday Club. She really values the respect and support that she is given. It has definitely exposed her to the opportunities after school.”

To support this exciting programme of activities, the St Mary’s University Widening Participation team are seeking exceptional Saturday Club Directors. One will coordinate the Society&Change Club, and the other the Science&Engineering Club. Each Director will design and plan a programme of stimulating and inclusive Saturday morning workshops for a cohort of 13 - 16-year-olds. The new Club Directors will start preparation work in November, ready to start programme delivery on Saturday mornings in early 2024.

Our existing Saturday Club, the Performance & Theatre Club, is coordinated by Drama Director, Daniela Roberts Santos. Daniela has said: “Directing the Saturday Club has been the most fulfilling brilliant adventure. My aim is to empower the group so that they take accountability and are proud of the work they achieve at the end of the year.”

Applications for the Saturday Club Director roles close on Monday 30th October 2023 – visit our website for more information and to apply.

The National Saturday Club programme enables universities to develop their civic engagement by engaging young people within the local community and reducing barriers to access by developing young people’s vital practical skills and creative capacities. You can find out more about the National Saturday Club programme on their website.

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