Many new volunteers will not have a teaching background, but the most important things are for you to enjoy bridge and children. To make your life easier the following information/help is available.
1. A 'How to get started' training day with Alison Nicolson at her home in Aston Tirrold, in which she covers the introduction to the children of minibridge. Alison used to be national trainer for the EBU and everyone benefits from those sessions which are supported by Oxfordshire Bridge Association and Berks & Bucks County Bridge Association.
2. You may choose to help at or watch a session at one or more nearby schools to get a feel of how they operate. Once you start, you can run the sessions your own way.
3. Most new schools start with a 'taster session'. This is generally a class session of approximately half an hour, so that children can decide whether they are likely to enjoy a bridge club. In that time, we usually teach them what a trick is, that bridge is a partnership game and that they must follow suit clockwise. In some sessions the children are limited to 6 cards and in others they manage 13. If you wish, we can help you with this session.
4. Material. Due to the generosity of the English Bridge Union Youth and Educational Trust, we now have plenty of boards and cards, and can deal hands for you from the minibridge teaching hands.
5. If you have a problem, please contact us, as we have probably come across it before, and may be able to help.
6. If you retain the children into a second year, or have them for an hour each week, they are likely to want to play full 'bridge' with bidding. Alison runs courses on how to get them started at bidding, and there also occasional training days for the children at 'hubs'.
7. Competitions. There are a variety throughout the year, both locally and further afield. We will keep you informed of them. The children enjoy these and both children and adults learn from them.
8. Logistics. Make sure that you have a reliable contact at the school who will warn you when there are play rehearsals, sporting events and outings, which will render your bridge class non-existent!
9. Above all, enjoy yourself and the children will too. We are volunteers. If you cannot go, or find a friend to replace you, just let the school know and cancel.
10. As a group, we have amassed a lot of handouts/teaching aids over the last 3 years. They can all be e-mailed to you and you can experiment with what suits you and your pupils.
11. The EBU give you a £30 voucher each term which you may use to equip your bridge club. Alternatively the Bridge4Schools initiative can make good use of this voucher if you wish to donate it to the funding pool.