ASPIRE Volunteering Project: Approaches to School Practice, Inclusion and Research in Education through Volunteering
A limited number of spaces are available for full-time students interested in volunteering at mainstream and/or special schools whilst studying MA Special and Inclusive Education.
Previous students have worked with Oak Field School and Sports College, Forest Fields Primary School, St Augustine's Primary School, Westbury School and Woodlands Schools.
I always looked forward to going every week, especially because I developed an attachment to the children, who recognise me and with whom I am always so happy to work.
What is the scheme?
The volunteering in schools scheme is aimed at providing practical experience of working in local schools. Feedback from students about the scheme has been overwhelmingly positive, consistently highlighting the benefits of being able to apply learning on the course to actual practice. Students have also welcomed this as a professional development opportunity beneficial when applying for future jobs.
...seeing how children with SEN are educated - not over protected or neglected.
What is the commitment?
One full day a week for a minimum of one term.
When will it start?
You will usually begin volunteering in the spring term which runs from January to March/April (Easter). However, sometimes you may start earlier and can also continue volunteering into the summer term.
How does it work?
You will have the opportunity to express your preference for:
- the type of provision you would like to volunteer in (mainstream or special school, voluntary organisation)
- the age of the children and young people you would like to be involved in supporting
- the day of week you would like to volunteer
Working under the direction of class teachers, you will take part in an induction. Specific tasks and your role will be negotiated with the teacher responsible for the class.
What are the benefits?
The scheme provides an opportunity to increase your knowledge and understanding of how children and young people with special educational needs are supported in mainstream or special schools.
...translating what I had learnt on the course to classrooms in schools.
How can I find out more?
An introductory meeting is held soon after you start the course.
One of the best experiences, the cherry on top of the cake.
What do I need to take part?
To take part in the volunteering scheme you will be required to obtain a 'Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, which is an assurance that you have no criminal record. This is required by anyone who works in schools, including teachers and teaching assistants. If you are a UK citizen, this is a fairly straightforward matter. If you are an international student, it may take a little longer and will require certain documents.