Volunteering in local school(9 Posts)
I've volunteered to help out at my local primary school 1 day a week. I have been invited in to meet the Head Mistress and staff on Monday.
I'm surprisingly nervous. I worked for years in a professional job in the City but have been a SAHM for 3 years and feel like I'm leaving my comfort zone. But DS is now in nursery 2 days a week and I want to do something really positive with one of my "free" days. I don't have any previous experience of working with children and don't know what to expect/what questions to ask, so any suggestions would be very welcome
I'm watching this thread with interest too. I'm shortly changing from full time to part time and am also keen to volunteer in a local school.
I would expect a full induction, some paperwork to cover your volunteer role and responsibilities/safeguarding etc. An allocation to a class or Key stage or targeted activity I.e listening to them read with clear expectations and boundaries.
Ask where volunteers are placed wrt behaviour management. In some schools they are allowed to give out the rewards and minor sanctions, in others they are expected to refer everything to the class teacher.
Ask about the activity you are given. If it's reading, for example, ask where that fits in with the literacy planning and frequency of 1:1 reading aloud.
I would not expect a full induction, tbh.
If it's reading, for example, ask where that fits in with the literacy planning and frequency of 1:1 reading aloud.
I would be rather by a volunteer asking that on the first day. I wouldn't be sharing my literacy planning with someone I didn't know from Adam.
It just shows how every school is different and all you can do is play it by ear, be friendly and willing to do little things like sharpening pencils and tidying.
Go for it! It is such a rewarding and life enhancing experience, without the stress and paperwork and STRESSSS!!! Just nice, lovely children who call you MISS and idolise you, and tell you cute and funny stories.
I would say relax and go in and basically do as you're asked and just ask if you need advice or help. Be as helpful as possible and work hard, you will build relationships soon enough and this will make things easier.
I love volunteering in school!
I imagine you will need to go through your security check, CRB, or whatever it's called. i don't imagine you'll be allowed to start volunteering until that goes through. Just ask what you can do and how you can best help out. It'll be fun, so enjoy
They will probably give you basic information about would be expected of you. This will include things like:
- Confidentiality about individual children. It may also include something about social media and not mentioning the school.
- Dress code and using appropriate language.
- Safeguarding, and what to do if you see or hear something that worries you.
- What to do if a child is hurt (usual advice is to hand them over to the class teacher and not to try to deal with them yourself)
- School policy on mobile phones. (some schools may ask you to leave yours in their office. Others may be okay with just having them on silent or switched off).
- Fire safety procedure (what to do and where to go if you hear the fire alarm)
- Letting them know if you can't come in on a particular day because of illness etc.
There might also be some more specific guidance about the work you will be doing. There will be explanations about anything that you may need to tell them about, eg if someone you live with is convicted of an offence.
You might want to ask them some questions of your own. This might be things like:
- Will I be working in the classroom or in a separate area of the school?
- Will I be working with one particular class/group or will it change each week?
- Who is my contact person if I want to talk about something?
Thanks so much for the replies. I had a look round and met the teachers, and it seems like a really great happy school. I can't wait to get involved.
With regard to asking about planning, I'm a PGCE student and some teachers have refused to show planning to us so I would play that by ear.
Other than that expect to be asked if you know any of the children etc as some school don't want volunteers working with children they know where as others welcome it.
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