About AWE Club
The main objective of AWE club is to find ways to run a wide range of group lessons and workshops for those children who benefit from learning together, where the cost is shared, making it more affordable for all. The children thereby meet and make friends and can then benefit from outings and events to promote positive relationships. They have lots of fun in the process! The club is run by Debbie Towns and has been running for 18 years.
Home Education at AWE Club
Parents please note that although we get together for group tutor led lessons this is still Home Education which means you retain your parental responsibility for your children at all times. If you need to go to the shops or similar, please speak to another parent and make arrangements for them to take over your responsibility while you are absent and make sure they have your mobile number. Please ensure you provide mobile phone numbers to Debbie for emergency use.
AWE is a Home Education Club not a school. Parents must stay on the premises at all times. AWE Club is not required to be registered with OFSTED.
All teachers and Debbie have current DBS certificates and Public Liability insurance.
AWE Club Hall
There are plenty of spaces at the venue and most parents stay for the day. Some wait in the cafe opposite. We have a good laugh and have all become friends. There is a small library with lots of books in the hall plus pool table/ table football/ and a ping pong table. At lunchtime the children all socialise with each other and all get on very well. There is plenty of space and quiet areas if you prefer. We have a very nice room where the parents all sit, with a TV and comfy chairs. The ice cream van comes at 2.30 and the younger siblings sometimes get ice cream. Tesco and Lidls are within walking distance and at the end of the road is a lovely new play park with all kinds of climbing equipment, a pond with ducks and a huge area to walk. It’s in the Lea Valley with a children’s farm and education centers. High Beech in Epping Forest is also very close. You can also walk into the town center in a few minutes where there are lots of places to eat plus the post office, library, hairdressers, beauty and nail bars if you fancy being pampered. You can drive about 3 minutes or walk across the field to Costa Coffee, McDonalds, TKmax, Poundland and Home Bargains. We hire the whole building which includes two kitchens, please only use the upstairs kitchen. There are mugs and tea / coffee making facilities which you are welcome to use as long as you wash up and clear the kitchen back to its original state. Please ensure your child’s washing up is done too. Please clear up any mess your children make too.
Please take your rubbish home with you. There is no council bin collection from the hall.
We rarely have any behaviour problems with children attending AWE, however if you do have any concerns please speak to the relevant teacher promptly so it can be dealt with quickly. We expect children and adults to treat each other with mutual respect and to remember there are always two sides to a story. We expect students to be respectful and kind and behave well with no bad language or bullying. Students who use bad language, or are unkind to other children will be asked to leave the classroom and return to their parent. This could lead to a permanent removal from the course if they continue with the same behaviour. If a situation should remain unresolved please contact Debbie.
If you have not done so already, please complete the form on this link providing your emergency contact, SEN and allergy details. www.aweclub.co.uk/awe-lesson-interest
The hall is situated on an industrial estate. Please keep your children safe from the traffic outside. Please do not let them run in and out of the cars or play outside. Ball games around the cars cause problems with our neighbours and are dangerous. There is a park at the end of the road.
I make urgent announcements on Facebook if for example a teacher is sick and can’t teach that day or maybe stuck in traffic. Please therefore join the Facebook group to ensure you see any urgent messages.
We try to maintain a positive relationship with the businesses around the hall. Please do not park in any named spaces. If you are asked to move please be polite. The surrounding businesses pay for their spaces, so if you are parked in a named bay they have every right to ask you to move. We have 4 spaces in front of the building and can double park there. You can park anywhere in Brooker Road or Cartersfield Road. At the end of Brooker Road is Townmead park which has a free car park. You can also park in Tesco (check current parking rules) and walk across the road, past Lidl. Lidl is to be avoided as they have strict time limits for parking. There are lots of side streets with free parking. There is a map of the permitted parking spaces on the AWE Club noticeboard.
Please bear in mind that one lesson a week may be enough of a subject for some students but for others it may not be enough. As a Home Educating parent you need to make decisions about how much extra study work and home work your child does. When doing exam courses students will definitely need to be doing the homework and assignments set by the teachers in order to cover all the material for the exams. Please remember every child is different and maybe attending AWE for various different reasons with very different expectations and plans. We do our best to support everyone even if they want to attend just to make friends with no intention of sitting exams. If your child needs help please email the relevant teacher. If homework causes the child too much anxiety just let the teacher know so he or she doesn’t ask the child for it. We understand many home educated children have anxiety issues and we try to help them overcome them without any pressure.
All fees for classes must be paid per half term in advance. You can find the current deadline for fee payment on the website. This ensures we can guarantee the classes will go ahead. If people do not commit in this way it makes it impossible to run the club. Please note you still pay for lessons you are absent for, as the costs remain the same and everyone pays the same. If you need more time to pay please contact Debbie so that we can work out a plan to help. Teachers do not accept cash payments. An admin fee of £25 may be charged for time consuming adjustments after the term starts if necessary.
Payments are not refundable as we provide the lessons based on numbers of students and if people ask for refunds part way through the half term it may not be viable to run the lessons for the remaining students.
I understand children change their minds and their needs change often. This is one of the reasons I only accept payments for each half term in advance. Please understand we make decisions about whether we have enough children and money to run the lessons before the start of each term. If students drop out and parents ask for a refund it means the teachers may end up working for no pay and costs may not be covered. Once AWE has paid for hall hire, insurance etc I can’t go back and ask for a refund, so we have to carry on, potentially at a loss. So, when you join AWE I will ask you to commit to each half term and pay in advance. The teachers and myself make the same commitment to you. We have had to make the decision to not be able to issue refunds under any circumstances for each half term.
Sickness and Illness
No refunds are given if your child does not attend the class for any reason including illness. Should a teacher become ill and have to cancel any class or classes, they will do their best to notify parents in plenty of time where possible. Teachers will try to arrange a replacement class or classes to take place on an alternative date or time if they can. If this can’t be arranged the refunds will be given or fee’s carried over to the following half term.
Trial lessons are charged at £11 per class per hour. You may do one trial class for each subject before committing to the half term.
I do want people to commit long term to the lessons as when people only stay only one term it’s a bit disruptive and affects the costs for everyone. We have had many amazing success stories and many children who have attended for up to six years. Sometimes children are anxious at the start but settle in well after a while and go on to love the lessons and succeed with their goals.
Swapping Between Subjects
I understand children change their minds but please try to get your child to commit to a half term in a particular subject. Fees you have paid to one teacher can not be transferred to another teacher.
Two Year Exam Courses
In the case of the two year exam courses we understand some people for unforeseen reasons will have to drop out but the teachers, hall hire managers and myself commit to ensuring we run the course for the full two years so your children do not miss out on the opportunities to complete the courses. Please consider carefully when you start an exam course that dropping out can cause problems for others. For example your child may have been part of a team project e.g. film making that could form part of their exam work, if one member of the team drops out it will impact the other children’s work which could impact their exam results. Most exam courses have a waiting list. If you take an offered space then drop out it means that place is now lost as a new child from the waiting list would not be able to catch up on the missed course work.
Exams are not compulsory. You can attend lessons just for interest which some children prefer as they do not have to deal with the stress of exams. We do our best to arrange the exam centre that will take the group if possible but this remains the parents responsibility to book and pay. We will do our utmost to ensure it is possible for AWE Students to sit the exams they wish to do however as we have seen with the Coronavirus situation, some unforeseen situations are beyond our control and we can not be responsible for such situations. Teachers will advise when children are ready for the exams.I usually send an email to all AWE families in November or December each year giving details and forms for exam entries for the following Summer. Please note the deadline given must be adhered to or the exam centres may not be able to accept your booking or you may incur additional fees from the exam board for late entry. I have a long standing arrangement with a local school who allow AWE Students to sit their exams for the courses run at AWE Club as external candidates. If your child is doing an exam course with Neil that requires coursework marking you will not be able to choose to sit exams at an alternative exam centre as they will not accommodate you. The arrangement we have is unique to AWE and our teachers. It has worked very well so far and has the added bonus that children will have familiar faces on exam day. Parents often arrange to meet up for breakfast/lunch or a chat in the local park, before exams which helps with last minute nerves. For peace of mind we have a ‘back up’ exam centre that will accept Neils marking, just in case of a disaster meaning the local school stops allowing AWE to use it as our exam centre. The ‘back-up’ is available at any of the T&E branches. Please bear that in mind. Parents may have to consider hotel bookings for early morning exams depending on their location.
SPECIAL ACCESS or SEN for EXAMS
Please note if your child requires any special access arrangements or has SEN needs, there is no guarantee that these can be catered for. The exams officer will help or advise if she can but often complex cases require so much paperwork and expensive outside assessments to be done that she cannot help. It is the parents responsibility to deal with exam access requirements. My advice is start very early as it is a very long complicated process. If you are using Tutors and Exams as your exam centre they offer lots of free support with special access arrangements.
Temporary Students Awaiting School Places
We are seeing an increasing number of children who are being Home Educated while waiting for a school place. Whilst we will do all we can to help with temporary classes we can not allocate an exam course place to a child who may leave in a few weeks. So we will allow a small amount of flexibility in class numbers to cater for those children and will call those temporary places where the commitment is not required from either party. This means your child will not be put in a class team doing exam work where their leaving could affect other children in the class.
AWE teachers do not give any legal advice or write reports under any circumstances to social services or the local education authorities. They are not qualified to undertake these requests and as the parent stays on the premises and retains their parental responsibility it is not appropriate.
AWE Discounts and Special Offers
I run lots of discount schemes and offers for members. You are welcome to share this with other Home Educators. All information is on my website. www.awediscounts.com There is also the Facebook page www.facebook.com/AWEdiscounts/ and also for extra special non-public discounts there is Home Educators Secret Discounts Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/homeedsecret
Please note as we are all individual Home Educators we do not have any insurance policy as a group. This means you are responsible for your child and their actions at all times. The venue owner's insurance does not cover AWE club for damage to equipment.
The Coronavirus situation has shown that we can’t plan for every situation despite our best efforts. Should anything unforeseen happen all parties will do their best to come to an agreeable solution where possible.
There is a stair lift if required and ramp access at the front. All children are welcome. The only requirements are that they are mature enough and able to sit through the lessons without causing disruption to the other students.
At the start of each term teachers will show the children where fire exits are located. Children are not allowed to play in the back stairway where the stair lift and fire exit doors are. In case of an evacuation assemble at the post box on your left as you leave the building. A register will be taken by the Teachers, do not leave as we may be looking for you when trying to ensure everyone is out of the building.
No food or drink in the computer room please. There is free wifi available and parents are welcome to use the computer room when there are no lessons in there. Please do not disrupt the lessons in adjacent rooms.
Teachers will explain exactly which textbooks are needed at the start of each course. Parents need to buy relevant books.
Address and Directions
154 Brooker Road, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1JH. Turn down the side of Lidls and the Nissan garage and the hall is about 200 yards down on the right. The building has two signs, WAY2000 and NEW Images outside. It is opposite the PIXEL building. Nearest train or bus station is Waltham Cross. Nearest tube is Loughton.
Thank you for taking the time to read this document.
AWE is a Home Education club not a school. Parents must stay on the premises during group lessons
AWE Club Face2Face Rules V9 15-07-2021