Two school children participating in the Number Partners scheme

UWE Bristol Volunteering Schools Programme

As a UWE Bristol Schools Volunteer, you could work as a reading buddy or classroom assistant in a primary school, an assistant in a Forest School, or a one-to-one tutor at a secondary school with one of our partner organisations.

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 one to eight weeks. 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!

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!

UWE Bristol will match you with a partner Forest School, or a primary school running Forest School sessions. Forest schools are flexible and some run all summer.

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.

Tutoring is termly, so please apply as soon as possible for a chance to volunteer in the summer term (April to July) using the application form below.

“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

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

Recruitment is now closed. You can register your interest in the Schools Programme (InfoHub login required) and we will be in touch when the next programme begins.  

Step-by-step process to volunteering

  1. Read through the role description and apply (when recruitment is open).
  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.

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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