Two school children participating in the Number Partners scheme

UWE Bristol Volunteering Schools Programme

UWE Bristol Volunteering works with local primary schools to provide a voluntary opportunities working with children and teachers in schools.

As a volunteer, you can develop and share your skills, contribute to children's learning and gain a valuable insight into school life.

What is involved?

As a Primary School Volunteer, you will volunteer for one morning or afternoon a week in a local school. UWE Bristol Volunteering recruits volunteers in September to start volunteering after the October half term, and again in November and December for volunteers to start in February.

Schools appreciate volunteers who can volunteer throughout the year, but do understand that students at the University have assessment periods.

The minimum commitment is 25 hours of volunteering.

Volunteering opportunities

Primary School Volunteer

Primary School Volunteers provide valuable classroom support, assisting teachers and helping pupils to get the most out of their learning. You will help children who need extra support, work with small groups of children, or help engage pupils in different topics. 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.

As well as classroom support, you will receive training to help children with reading on a one-to-one basis. This helps 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.

Apart from this, the Primary School Volunteer role can be quite varied and schools are encouraged to make use of your subject knowledge and skills. For example, a history student may be asked to support a class studying medieval Britain, or a maths student may be asked to play number games to develop children's numeracy. Watch our Number Partners film to find out more.

You could also run lunchtime clubs or support Children's University activities. The role is what you make it and the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it!

Volunteer feedback

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

School Project Leaders

School Project Leaders are Primary School Volunteers who also spend a couple of hours a week, on average, helping to recruit, train and support other primary school volunteers. It's a great way to progress your skills and experience.

UWE Bristol Volunteering will train School Project Leaders and develop a programme which will enable our volunteers to develop excellent leadership skills, as well as marketing, presentation and facilitation skills, communication skills, problem solving and mentoring skills.

Do you have your own idea for a school project? With support from UWE Bristol Volunteering, as a School Project Leader you could also develop your own school projects and recruit other volunteers to help to deliver it in schools. For example, you could develop workshops for a history day at a school, or develop a creative writing lunchtime club.

Apply to be a volunteer

Recruitment is now closed for the Primary School Volunteer and School Project Leader roles. You can register your interest in the project (Infohub login required) and we will be in touch when the next programme begins.

Step-by-step process to volunteering

  1. Read the full role description and apply (when recruitment is open) 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 school volunteering opportunities

There are other opportunities to volunteer in schools in the local area, in addition to the UWE Bristol Volunteering Schools Programme.

View our volunteering top picks within 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.

Schools Programme 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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