Two school children participating in the Number Partners scheme

UWE Bristol Volunteering Schools Programme

UWE Bristol Volunteering works with local primary and secondary schools to provide a variety of short-term volunteering opportunities, giving student volunteers fantastic opportunities to develop skills, contribute to the community, and have fun at the same time.

What is involved?

As a Schools Programme volunteer you will volunteer once a week for six weeks, usually for one morning or afternoon a week.

Volunteering opportunities

Primary School Volunteer – with Reading Buddies or Number Partners

Primary School Volunteers help for a morning or an afternoon once a week and provide valuable classroom support, assisting teachers and helping pupils to get the most out of their learning. Volunteers will help children who need extra support, work with small groups of children or engage pupils on a one-to-one basis. Being a Primary School Volunteer is a fantastic way of improving your interpersonal and communication skills, as well as gaining valuable experience in the classroom.

Alongside assisting in the classroom you will deliver extra support with either reading or maths.

With Reading Buddies

Volunteers will receive training to help children with reading on a one-to-one basis. Through additional reading practice you will help children improve their comprehension and literacy skills. More importantly, it is about encouraging an enjoyment of reading and raising their reading confidence. Watch our Reading Buddies film to find out more.

With Number Partners

Volunteers will receive training to help children improve their numeracy and financial literacy skills. Through playing number games with small groups of children volunteers will help to make maths fun and boost children's confidence. Watch our Number Partners film to find out more.

I have enjoyed this experience very much. I’ve learned a lot of valuable skills and this experience has confirmed my decision to become a teacher.”
Primary School Volunteer

The people were friendly and I found there was a nice mix of things to help with, including a school trip. I felt I was helpful with Maths lessons and English lessons with story writing.”
Primary School Volunteer

Secondary School Volunteer – Subject Specific or Pupil Referral Unit

Examples of the secondary school voluntary opportunities that you could get involved with include:

Subject specific

As a Secondary School Volunteer in one of our partner secondary schools, you will help the teachers in their subject lessons: English, Maths, Science, Art, Product Design, Engineering, Humanities, Health and Social care, Languages, PE, Performing Arts and many more.

You will work with small groups of children or on a one-to-one basis, supporting the pupils with subject-specific tasks and encouraging them in the subject. Being a Secondary School Volunteer is a great way to engage and inspire young people, develop your skills, and gain experience of a classroom environment.

Pupil Referral Unit

You will be a Secondary School Volunteer at St. Matthias Park Pupil Referral Unit. The St. Matthias Park PRU provides full-time education for pupils who have been permanently excluded or are at risk of exclusion from their school. St. Matthias aims to prepare their pupils to return to mainstream school by offering tailored small classes and a behavioural rewards system – enthusing their pupils about education once more.

You will help the teachers in class and use different methods to engage the pupils in learning by supporting small groups or on a one-to-one basis. This is a brilliant opportunity to work in a challenging environment and with children that have behavioural needs. You will volunteer for a minimum of one morning or afternoon a week for six weeks.

I loved working in the schools and it has just made me really sure that I want to go into teacher training and into a career in education. Helping students in such a critical time in their life cannot be more rewarding and it is a joy and privilege of mine to have had this opportunity.”
Secondary School Volunteer in Art at City Academy

I thoroughly enjoyed volunteering there, all the staff were extremely welcoming and you would get to know the students you work with quite quickly. I normally worked one-to-one with a student, which was really good experience.”
Secondary School Volunteer

Forest School Volunteers

More schools are moving the classroom outside and trying to get children to re-engage with nature, and they need you! At Forest Schools children are given the opportunity to explore the woods and outdoor spaces, find out about plants and animals, climb trees, make dens, sit and listen to nature, learn how to use tools, have campfires and lots more. As a volunteer, you will learn to engage pupils outside the classroom whilst supporting the Forest School Leader, and have fun at the same time!

The staff and children were lovely and I learnt a lot about what is involved in a forest school session and I had a lot of fun too. We were lucky to have such nice weather while I was there!”
Volunteer at Baileys Court Forest School

Code Club Volunteers

Code Club is offering bespoke opportunities to UWE Bristol volunteers to support local after-school Code Clubs in primary schools or youth centres. Code Club is a nationwide network of free, volunteer-led after-school coding clubs for children aged 9–11.The clubs run for one hour a week between 15:00–17:00pm, and you will volunteer once a week for six weeks.

UWE Bristol volunteers will support the club leaders to teach children how to program by working through projects developed by Code Club using Scratch, HTML, CSS and Python, which show them how to make computer games, animations and websites. Come and join the fun!

Apply to volunteer

If you wish to get involved with any of the above opportunities, please read the full role description on InfoHub and apply online (InfoHub log in required).

Step-by-step process to volunteering

  1. Read the full role description and apply for a UWE Bristol Schools Programme.
  2. Attend a DBS drop-in session and complete a DBS check. To find out more about this process and the ID documents needed, read our guide to ‘What you need to know to complete a DBS check’.
  3. We ‘match’ you with a placement and provide you with details.
  4. Attend training for your specific role led by UWE Bristol Volunteering.
  5. Attend an induction at your school.
  6. We will support you in your volunteering should you need us.
  7. We help you review and evaluate your volunteering, and verify your volunteering for the UWE Bristol Futures Award.
  8. UWE Bristol Volunteering will reimburse reasonable travel expenses (if you keep your tickets!).

Other opportunities to volunteer in schools

Find out about other opportunities to volunteer in schools in the local area, in addition to the UWE Bristol Volunteering Schools Programme.

Volunteering top picks within schools and education

There are opportunities to volunteer with local organisations working within schools and education in our volunteering top picks for schools and education.

Any questions?

Contact us if you have any questions or would like to talk to someone about volunteering in schools before applying.

Student feedback

“I found the experience both enlightening and useful. I would urge any student who is considering a career in education, or who wants to strengthen their CV with some meaningful volunteering, to take the opportunity to volunteer with local schools. It was an experience that helped define my second year.”
Schools Programme Volunteer

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