IF YOU’RE ONE OF OUR NEW VOLUNTEERS IN SCHOOL, HERE ARE OUR TOP 10 TIPS TO HELP YOU MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR SESSIONS

  1. Remember it takes time to get to know your children and to find out what interests them and which books they may like to read.
  2. It’s often a good idea to ask them to bring along their ‘class’ reading book so you can accurately assess the level they are currently working at.  (Experience indicates this is often at a level lower than their capabilities but is a useful starting point.)
  3. Maybe prepare a sheet and ask them to fill in their name, class teacher, whether they have pets, brothers and sisters, what they like to do outside school, favourite colours etc.  It’s often a good icebreaker and will provide useful information for you going forward.
  4. On picking them up from class always try for a two-way conversation, they may be a little shy at first but as they get used to seeing you will often offer little snippets of what they’re doing; it’s so confidence building.
  5. Try to be flexible when taking the children out of class and be guided by their teachers so they miss as little as possible of the lessons.
  6. Paired reading is a useful tool if a child is really struggling and takes the pressure off.
  7. A full half an hour solid reading is quite a lot for a small child so try to vary it with perhaps a little game, crossword or conversation – make it fun and not a trial.
  8. Children are surprisingly competitive and will often enjoy little quizzes, perhaps based on the story you are reading.
  9. Be very generous with your praise and always tell the teacher if you think the child has done particularly well during a session.  This works in two ways a) it genuinely encourages a child to feel good about their achievements and b) the teacher gets a sense of the progress of that child.  If you can build a good relationship with the teacher, their support is so beneficial to your work.
  10. Keep a record of the work you have done during the sessions so you can keep track of their progress.

(Always remember ABC is there to help and support you and can be contacted if ever you have a problem or need advice).

BE PROUD OF THE BRILLIANT WORK WE DO. YOU WILL BE ENHANCING THE LIVES OF THE CHILDREN YOU WORK WITH AND, IN MANY CASES, CHANGING HOW THEY FEEL ABOUT THEMSELVES.  IF THEY CAN BECOME A CONFIDENT READER IT MAKES ALL THE WORK THEY DO IN SCHOOL MUCH EASIER.