Karate's great but give cubs the chop

7th November 1997 at 00:00
FELIX COHEN, eight, is in Year 3 at The Hall, Hampstead, north London I attend an after-school drama club. My mum put me on the list when I was little. One day someone called and said, "You are going on this drama course". I was cross because I was forced into it and felt a bit unprepared. It's okay, but it hasn't made me want to be an actor.

My school does a lot of after-school clubs - Cubs, fencing, karate and chess. I wanted to join the karate club, but my mum said I couldn't go. Now I see all these millions of people going into karate; it's so popular. I think mum feels really bad that she didn't let me go. She wants me to go to the fencing club because she thinks I'd be really good, but I'm not interested.

Only a few people join some of the school clubs, because they're silly things like Cubs. My friend says Cubs is really boring.

You don't get much choice of extra things to do at school. The only thing you can choose if you want to play an instrument is the violin or cello. I play the violin, so I have lessons just before lunch. You can choose to be in the orchestra, too.

It would be great if there were extra art classes after school. Everyone loves art, and we've got a really nice teacher. If I could choose a new club to go to after school it would be a stamp collection club. We could swap them and have competitions about how many we had and who had the best ones. The winners would get a prize - a golden stamp with the Queen's head on.

BRYONY HOPE, nine, is in Year 4 at William Tyndale Primary School in Islington, north London About 50 kids go to the after-school club. People go from all different classes, but it's mainly the infants. It costs Pounds 5 a day and it's good for children who have working parents but haven't got a child minder.

We have special teachers who come in to run the club. They're stricter than normal teachers because it's the end of school and everyone starts running around, screaming and shouting.

The club is held in one of the big classrooms. We play games, and the teachers sometimes take people for swimming lessons, but none of my friends go to the club and it's boring without them. I complained to my dad until he said I could stop going.

I think more people would want to go to after-school clubs if they were less strict. It would also be better if there was more money to buy new pens and board games. I would go to the club again if they bought a big TV and I could watch all the kids' programmes.

I'd like to go to a drama club because I want to be an actress. A homework club is a bad idea. I had knitting lessons when I went to the club. I don't think I'll ever need to knit, but I suppose it might be useful when I'm old and a granny.

Children's Express is a programme of learning through journalism. A charity, it promotes the views of young people aged eight to 18. Interviews by editors Rachel Bulford, 16; Moynul Mustafa, 16; and Stuart Fletcher, 15; and reporters Benjamina Avro, 9; Pfungwa Chipatiso, 11; and Gabriella Gay, 11

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