'Dadding About' is a project we have been running, from our school, since the summer of 2013.
The ‘Dadding About’ project combines learning, culture and creativity to enable Dads, Granddads and other male role models who are 'like a dad' or 'Granddad', who can sometimes be reluctant to get involved, to develop new skills and play a more active part in their children’s lives. The project has been supported by Bolsover Childrens’ Centre, Derbyshire County Council, NIACE, Derbyshire Adult Community Education Service and Public Health Services (Bolsover).
Dads were originally encouraged to bring along their own father, older brother or male family friend to the workshops. They ran for one afternoon a week for eight weeks, in the summer of 2013. The workshops were divided into two; the first half of the session was for adult learning, which included digital photography, storytelling and Japanese puppet making amongst many other topics. The second half of the session was for family learning and the Dads were joined by their child to enjoy activities on the same theme together.
This project was a huge success and was rolled out again in the new academic year 2013/14, run by the Dads themselves, this time, and supported by the school. The Dads and Granddads developed from strength to strength and with the aid of the school have continued to meet and run projects offered to all the children and their male role models across school. Over the last few years the Dads have also organised and took part in activities such as Kite flying, canoeing and Rock climbing, den building, scarecrow creating, willow work and remote control car play. They have visited Pleasely Vale Activity Centre and Creswell Crags and have had great fun with their families as 'Dadding Out and About'.
The impact of this project has been immense for the individuals involved. The Dads report that they feel a great sense of belonging; they are supported by their peers in the group; their confidence and self-esteem has grown significantly; their parenting skills have improved and they now have a greater awareness of their child’s needs. Some Dads have reported that they now believe in themselves more, and feel good about their relationships with their children, family, friendships and wider community. Relationships between Dad's, families and schools have been strengthened as a result of the project and many life's have been positively affected. One commented: “There's a focus on us as parents, we're having fun learning. It’s nice to learn something new.” The project is even award winning, receiving the award for East Midlands Learning in Families and Community Project 2013/14. They were chosen as winners in recognition of their Outstanding learning and achievements.
In 2016/17 'Dadding About' has gone from strength to strength and has seen a record number of families sign up. We have found that by advertising the schedule early enough Dad's and other male role models have booked time off work to spend a precious afternoon with their children, in school. If you are interested in getting involved please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Spring / Summer 2013
Making and Breaking
The Race of Dads
The Moustache Tree
The Game of Dad’s
The Egg Race
Visit to Creswell Crags
Summer Activities with Children’s Centre:
Nature Reserve Walk
Problem Solving @ Adult Ed
September 2013 Mask Making
October 2013 Scarecrow Building
October 2013 Bird Feeders
October/November 2013 Time Machines
November 2013 Time Machine Filming
July 2014 Kite Flying
June / July 2014 ‘I can do it’ @ Pleasley Vale (5 week course)
November 2014 Lantern Making
March 2015 Trip to Manchester United
April 2015 Remote Control Cars
April 2016 Mechanical Manoeuvres
May 2016 Willow Den Building
June 2016 Daddy’s Day Dodgems
September 2016 Scarecrow Building
December 2016 Wonderful Wooden Advent
January Bindingly Brilliant Book Folding
March 2017 Yummy Treats
May 2017 Bowls
June 2017 Daddy Day Races