National Art&Design Saturday Club
The National Art&Design Saturday Club gives 13–16 year olds the unique opportunity to study art and design at their local college or university. The classes are free of charge and are delivered by tutors, supported by student assistants.
This is a new model, but not a new idea. Britain’s wartime coalition and post-war governments both recognised the potential of giving schoolchildren a taste of possible career paths through Saturday classes at local further or higher education institutions. The National Art&Design Saturday Club updates this concept into a 21st century model.
There are now more than 50 Clubs in colleges and universities across the country, with 1,200 young people receiving 90 hours of free tuition for up to 30 Saturdays each year.
The aim is to nurture young people’s talent, build their confidence, skills and self-esteem. Parents and teachers frequently report that Saturday Club attendance leads to improved motivation, attitude and attainment back at school; 80% of Club members achieve at least one grade higher than expected at GCSE in related subjects.
The year-long programme, delivered by over 220 tutors, includes a wide range of creative disciplines and processes, with an opportunity to try out techniques and materials not normally found in schools. Tutors are supported through a national network, which meets three times a year to exchange ideas and encourage best practice.
“It’s opened up doors for the future. I didn’t think I could ever be an architect or work in the creative sector, but now I think I can”.
“I’m amazed to see what my daughter has done. I can’t put it into words. I’m so proud”.
“The Saturday Club is about being inspirational. It’s about giving people an opportunity to be inventive, creative, develop their ideas, to be passionate about the world that we experience around us, and to be able to use art and design to mediate through that”.
“The idea of the Saturday Club is that young people can be supported in finding both inspiration and aspiration; finding their own voice, and voicing what they care about”.
The weekly Saturday Clubs are punctuated by other important moments: the London Visit, where Club members visit some of London’s museums and creative workplaces; the inspiring Masterclass given by leading professionals; and the Summer Show, an exhibition of members’ work in London’s Somerset House Embankment Galleries.
Given the success of the National Art&Design Saturday Club, it became clear that the Saturday Club model could equally be applied to other subjects and sectors.
To learn more, visit saturday-club.org