Lunchtime clubs make an impact

Demonstrate how you can set up your own school lunchtime clubs to support student engagement.

We visited Brunswick East Primary School and Reservoir High School to develop videos that highlight how their lunchtime clubs are building engagement, social skills and inclusion for all students.

We launched the videos, a poster and tips for schools on Friday 21 October 2022 at AWETISM22, the I CAN Network's annual expo for autistic and neurodivergent students to present their interests and unique skills.

Lunchtime clubs are an evidence-based way of providing activities during recess and lunchtime that supports students who may struggle with the lack of structure in the playground.

As the case-study videos show, lunchtime clubs can benefit students and the whole school community, with:

  • improved peer-to-peer and teacher-student relationships and wellbeing
  • a sense of personal empowerment and student voice
  • development of social and emotional skills
  • improved academic achievement
  • increased student sense of safety
  • a reduction in bullying and playground behaviour incidents.

Case study videos

Refer to these new video resources to see examples of how other schools have set up their lunchtime clubs and the advantages they are seeing:

  • Reservoir High School has built a positive school climate and inclusion through lunchtime clubs. They met a need to strengthen student connectedness.

Start a lunchtime club at your school

Lunchtime clubs can benefit all students. Some students, such as autistic students and those with anxiety, are likely to find particular benefits from the inclusion lunchtime clubs offer. They can also help ease the transition at key points, such as starting Year 7.

When setting up lunchtime clubs at your school:

  • discuss lunchtime clubs during your staff meeting
  • find staff and where possible, students, to support the development and implementation of clubs
  • identify students who would benefit from clubs
  • make clubs voluntary and available to all students
  • collect student voices and feedback to guide club choices and how they are run.

For more information, refer to lunchtime clubs.

More ways to support autistic students

  • The Art of Learning video offers insights from autistic students and recent graduates. They discuss their strengths, aspects of school they found hard and how they met those challenges.
  • I CAN Network offers mentoring and support for autistic students. They provide weekly one-hour group mentoring sessions for up to 16 students.
  • The Diverse Learners Hub provides information, tools and guidance to support diverse learners, including autistic students.

Find out more

For more information, refer to Disability friendly schools.

For further enquiries, contact Anika Martin, Manager, Mental Health Reform Division: