Boys who successfully complete the scheme gain valuable experience in developing interpersonal, team working and creative skills, whilst also taking away many fond memories of their time spent with the primary school children.
Here are some comments from Y12 students who were recently involved:
I volunteered at Rendell Primary School, where alongside 3 other Year 12s we helped Year 4s with Maths, English and their Science projects. The first obstacle we had to overcome was tailoring our aid to different pupils – all of varying ability, which we somehow naturally took to being able to do. I believe this to be the most important skill any of us gained from the programme: the ability to read an individual and communicate with them at a level best fitting to their comprehension. Another valuable skill to be attained during my time at Rendell was patience; an example of when this was required was when a certain child, regardless of how long I spent doing simple addition with him and the assurance he gave me that he now knew how to do it, after spending 13 minutes working on 34 + 7, came to the answer of 4,327! I have many joyful memories like this at Rendell primary school, and to see all the kids cry on my last day telling me they will miss me and appreciate all we’ve done on their own accord will be my only sad memory upon leaving the programme.
I volunteered at Ashmount, which is a specialist school for pupils aged between 4 and 19, with a range of special educational needs, including autism, downs syndrome and other physical disabilities. This was an incredible experience as I worked with various children, who required different and fairly complex methods of care. I thrived during my placement here, as I was able to witness and play a pivotal role in providing pupils with a form of adapted education in a caring, relaxed and fun environment. Having volunteered there for 10 months, I have developed close relationships with teachers, teaching assistants and most importantly the pupils themselves. Some fond memories of my time there include in music, playing a duet of “Twinkle Twinkle little star” on the piano – and seeing this particular pupil’s face light up which was a unique experience that I will cherish for life. Also I can never forget that afternoon I came home covered with flour, sugar and for some reason glue, whilst making biscuits with the younger years!
I volunteered at Holywell School and worked with 2 Year 4 classes over the year. I mainly worked with the pupils that struggle with academics, in particular literacy and numeracy, but especially with Maths. I found that I could give the pupils a different explanation of the topic, allowing them to access it from a different perspective and grow in confidence, which was highly gratifying. Along with the academic side of school, I was able to assist with their PE lessons and drama production, both of which the pupils enjoyed immensely. The tasks included making props and assisting with the singing for the production and trying to make PE as fun as possible. Furthermore, I would assist the teacher with marking, and even helped to teach part of the lesson. This program has easily been one of my top things to look forward to on those miserable Monday mornings.