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How to make the most of volunteering in a primary school

(8 Posts)
charleylarlie Tue 25-Mar-14 14:05:55

I'm currently volunteering in a primary school for one morning a week with a view to applying for a PGCE/School Direct course for 2015. I was just wondering if anybody has any tips or suggestions as to how to make the most of this time, please.

I have only done three mornings so far in Reception and I've enjoyed it. However, I'm wondering how I can make the most of it. The activities are mostly free flow, with a phonics lesson before lunch, so I've mostly been going to different groups doing different activities doing and chatting with/helping the children. All the activities are set up in advance, although the teacher has said that if there is anything I would like to do with the children, to let her know and she'll try to accommodate it. I'm not really sure what I could suggest and would welcome any suggestions.

Also, does anybody have any idea whether it would be beneficial to do a full week or two occasionally (if I can organise childcare), or would it be better to carry on doing a morning a week for as long as I can?

I hope I've posted this in the right place.

Cheers smile

P.S. If anybody can steer me towards any helpful resources or recommend any books that may help me gain more of an understanding of the curriculum and planning lessons/activities, I'd be grateful. As I say, I'm currently helping in Reception, but would like to help out in Year 1 (and poss Year 1) as well. I really want to gain as much knowledge as possible before applying.

charleylarlie Tue 25-Mar-14 14:07:19

*Year 1 (and poss Year 2)

Middleagedmotheroftwo Tue 25-Mar-14 14:07:30

Could you plan lead a session on a topic, with guidance and support from the teacher?

Middleagedmotheroftwo Tue 25-Mar-14 14:07:42

*plan and lead

charleylarlie Tue 25-Mar-14 19:32:39

Thanks, Middle smile I might be able to do something like that with one of the older groups, but I need to think of an activity that I can just lay out for the Reception class as they tend to join up with another class and they tend to have mostly free choice (e.g. diary writing, painting, outside play, role play etc). I can be around to guide them but it needs to be something that can run by itself as well.

I'm wondering whether a craft would be a good idea - get them making something simple. I'll get my thinking cap on.

saadia Tue 25-Mar-14 20:11:48

There are some lovely activity ideas for Early Years on Pinterest.

DuckandCat Tue 25-Mar-14 20:28:06

I think planning and leading a whole class session would be a bit much. The teacher will already have plans in place and if the school is more than one-form entry this will be in conjunction with the rest of the year group.

Maybe ask if you could plan a small group activity? I would be happy to support this if you were volunteering in my class. Maybe try and think of an activity which relates to the topic/ theme they are already doing.

charleylarlie Tue 25-Mar-14 21:09:56

Thanks saadia and Duck. Will check out Pinterest, didn't think of that. I agree, a small group activity would work best (wouldn't have a clue where to begin planning a session anyway just yet). They do have a couple of class topics going on at the moment so maybe I could come up with an activity that ties in.

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