Two school children participating in the Number Partners scheme

UWE Bristol Volunteering Schools Programme

As a UWE Bristol Schools Volunteer, you could work in a variety of roles, from reading buddy to English as a Second Language tutor.

Why volunteer?

Volunteering's a brilliant opportunity to gain valuable work experience, engage with children and develop your interpersonal skills. You might also be able to use your subject knowledge to support curriculum areas or clubs. The role is what you make it!

The roles are flexible and involve different time commitments, but you should be prepared to volunteer at least 25 hours over the course of at least eight weeks. The minimum commitment is 25 hours of volunteering.

Volunteering opportunities

Primary School Reading Buddy

Reading Buddies will receive training from UWE Bristol in supporting 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.

The Reading Buddy 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. 

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!

Forest School Volunteer

At Forest School, children are given the opportunity to explore the woods and outdoor spaces, finding out about the plants and animals we share the woods with. They can climb trees, make dens or rope swings, fish or forage. They can also make wonderful perfumes and potions; sit and listen to nature; learn how to use tools; have campfires and lots more!

Free play is encouraged and any activities reflect the seasons and encourage appreciation of the woodland around them.

As a volunteer, you can gain experience supporting children's learning in a completely different setting. You will learn about the risks and how to manage children outside, as well as having a great deal of fun at the same time!

One-to-one Tutor

One-to-one Tutors will work with Action Tutoring, our partner charity. They support young people facing socio-economic disadvantages to achieve a meaningful level of academic attainment, with a view to enabling them to progress in education, employment or training.

You will be trained to a high level as a volunteer tutor with pupils to increase their subject knowledge, confidence and study skills.

“It has been so positive to see the children grow in confidence… the results are [also] looking so much better. This kind of work has real life-changing value and the volunteers were great role models to have in the academy.”
School Head Teacher

English as a Second Language home tutor

ESL tutors will work with our partner, Jacari. This is a student charity providing home tutoring for disadvantaged children aged 6 to 16 who don’t speak English as their first language. You'll work with the child and their family to help improve their learning ability and English confidence. You'll be the essential link between a child and their (often new) community.

You will be given specialist training as well as ongoing support and resources from Jacari.

This is a special role which will involve building a close relationship with a child and their family. Jacari ask that volunteers are prepared to commit to volunteering one hour a week (plus planning time) for at least six months, with breaks for school and university holidays.

Volunteer 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

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

“The staff and children were lovely and I learnt a lot.”
UWE Bristol Forest School Volunteer

“It has been a great experience. Forest School is wonderful. I strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to work with children, although you need to not mind getting wet and muddy!”
UWE Bristol Forest School Volunteer

Apply to be a volunteer

Applications are now open to start volunteering in February or March.  

Step-by-step process to volunteering

  1. Read through the role description and apply before 11 February 2019.
  2. Keep an eye on your UWE Bristol emails to find out how to start the process of getting your 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 or our partner charity.
  5. Attend an induction at your place.
  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 or your CV.
  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.

Follow UWE Bristol Volunteering on social media

Visit our Facebook and Twitter profiles to view the latest photos and updates from voluntary projects.

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