helping at school

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This school is committed to safeguarding and promoting the

welfare of children and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment

Introduction to helping at school

This leaflet is designed as a guide on how you can help and support in school. It is only intended as an initial guide through the early stages of helping and to answer some common questions. Please do not hesitate to ask questions of the class teacher or any member of staff if there is something you want to know or are unsure of. Similarly, we are open to and would welcome any suggestions you may have.

Common Questions

How can I help?

There are lots of activities where volunteer helpers can provide significant support, enriching the children’s school experience and giving them a real educational boost. This could be in any of the following subject areas: cooking, reading, computers, sewing, library, visits, art activities or any other skills or experience you can offer the school.  Any amount of time you can spare to help in school is always greatly appreciated by the staff and pupils. Come in for a morning or an  afternoon or just an hour here and there— it’s up to you.

Who am I responsible to?

In most situations you will be responsible to the class teacher and in their absence the head teacher, or either of the assistant heads, will provide you with guidance.

What will be expected of me?

Both the children and teachers will look forward to your visit. The class teacher will have prepared for your time in class and might like you to help with curriculum activities or filing, photocopying, glueing or listening to readers, to name a few likely tasks, unless you have already indicated what you would be prepared to do.

Please let us know if you are unable to attend that day.

Are there any breaks?

There is a morning break at 10.15—10.30.   Tea and coffee is 

available in the staff room. Feel free to join us,  Lunchtimes vary with year groups.

Which cloakrooms should I use?

There are pegs available to use in the staff toilets next to the school hall , any member of staff will be able to direct you.

Where do I go on arrival?

When you arrive at the school please report to the office, sign in to the visitors book and collect a visitors badge. Then make your way to the class in which you are working where the teacher will welcome you and discuss the tasks for the day.

Rules and Etiquette

The class teacher will have created a pupil/teacher relationship. You will be able to support this by talking to the class teacher about the “class rules”. Please refer to the class rules displayed in the classroom.

It is usual, whilst in school, to address the class teacher and other adults by their title and surname rather than Christian names.

About the School—The School Day

8.30-8.55       Children arrive in class (FS)

8.30-8.45       Children arrive in class (KS1)

9.55-10.10     Assembly

10.15-10.30   Break

11.30             Monkey A.M. finish

11.30-12.45   Foundation Lunch

11.45-1.00     Year 1 Lunch

12.00             Monkeys P.M. arrive

12.15-1.15     Year 2 lunch

3.00               School Ends

Health and Safety

The School is obliged to follow the Health & Safety Policy and local fire department regulations.  Please ensure you understand what to do if the fire bell sounds, where the nearest fire exits are, and where the assembly point are outside the building.  In the event of a fire or other emergency requiring evacuation, the fire alarm will sound.  All pupils and staff/helpers will assemble on the paved area in front of the school via their designated exit.  Any visitors in school should exit through the nearest exterior door,.


Security is vitally important to the safety of pupils and staff.  All necessary precautions are taken to ensure that only valid and authorised people are inside the school.  All doors are locked after the children have arrived at the start of the day.  All visitors are required to sign in and out, and to wear a badge.


The school will expect you to respect confidentiality of pupils and staff.  Confidentiality is when the contents of a conversation or an observation are kept private.  We expect all people working with us to observe our code of confidentiality.  This means all staff and visitors are expected to respect what they see and hear around school as confidential.  Staff may be privy to information that is not on ‘general release’.  Visits may overhear staff or children’s conversations that are not intended for public hearing.  The most common may be when a parent helper overhears the teacher discussing a child’s behaviour or school work with that child—this conversation should not be repeated by the volunteer helper– not even to the child’s parents.  It is the teacher’s or Headteacher’s decision to take action to involve parents, and they have to be trusted to use their professional knowledge and judgement.

We need to maintain confidentiality so that all members of the school’s community and visitors to the school can deal with disclosure of information, establish ways of working which respect privacy, and avoid unnecessary personal discomfort.  All volunteer helpers are requested to read the schools’ Confidentiality Policy and abide by it.

Safeguarding Children

A child may choose to talk with an adult in school about something personal that is concerning or distressing them, or they may ‘let something slip’ which gives rise to concern.  In either case, this is called a ‘Disclosure’ if it relates to their safety and wellbeing.  It is possible,  although unlikely, that the adult the child confides in is a volunteer.

The school has a responsibility, and the Headteacher a legal duty, to act to keep children safe.  If a child discloses something of concern to a volunteer helper, it is essential that this is told to the class teacher, in privacy, and promptly—i.e. as soon as possible such as at the end of the lesson, certainly on the same day.  The volunteer then needs to do nothing further, as staff will follow up in accordance with the school’s Safeguarding Policy.

At this school, the Designated Teacher with responsibility for

Safeguarding Children is Lizzie Bancroft, the Headteacher


We believe that good discipline is based on mutual knowledge, respect and setting of standards.  We encourage children to see their behaviour in relation to others and grow in awareness of their actions.  We encourage an atmosphere of support and mutual responsibility in which everybody plays a part.

As a school we aim to view behaviour in terms of appropriate and inappropriate rather than good or bad.  We seek to administer sanctions, which we describe as consequences, rather than to punish.  We believe that a whole school approach is essential in ensuring the appropriate behaviour of children. 

Action which is considered socially desirable is positively reinforced and action which is considered social undesirable leads to withdrawal of support.  It leads to a hierarchy of consequences up to, and including requests for parental involvement.

The school actively discourages any form of unacceptable behaviour such as bullying, racism or sexism.

Our Recipe for a Happy School

We are kind and thoughtful

We tell the truth

We behave politely towards everybody

We are gentle in our words and our actions

We care for the safety of others at all times

We walk quietly in school

We come to school to learn and to work

We look after equipment and resources

Examples of rewards/positive strategies to teach and encourage good behaviour

Be smiled at and noticed.  Thumbs up.

Staff actively looking out for opportunities to offer praise and explaining what it is that is being praised.

Receive incentive sticker and/or merit/commendation certificate.

Be given a special job.

Receive praise.

Earn agreed group/class reward.

Be given public acclaim for good work in class and at assembly.

Be praised in assembly for ‘Special Achievement’.

Be encourage to show ‘Special Achievement’ certificate to parent.

Show work to another teacher/Head/other children.

Have work displayed.

Modelling of appropriate behaviour by staff and/or peers.

Listening to Readers—Helper’s Guide

When listening to a child or group of children

Read, the aim is to build up confidence and provide the opportunity for reading aloud for pleasure.  Please do:

  • Make yourselves as comfortable as possible and spend time to chat with the child.
  • Smile, give time to read the pictures—share in them together
  • Briefly discuss if they enjoy the book, if they find it easy or difficult, etc.
  • Say “Let’s have a go then” (meaning that you will join in sometimes)
  • Help the child to sound out the word if they hesitate
  • Invite the child to read on if a word is unknown and then go back to it
  • Show your delight with the child’s successes (Great!  Well done!)
  • Keep the reading activity short
  • Indicate that you will be looking forward to seeing how they got on the next time they read to you.
  • Talk to the child about the passage they have just read to see if they have understood it.
  • If the child is reluctant to read, make it a game, capture the child’s interest e.g. Let ‘Teddy’ read first, then take it in turns.
  • Congratulate a child who gives a wrong word but in the right context, this demonstrates that they have understood the text

On the day of your visit…

Don’t forget to sign in at the office and collect your Visitors sticker

Sign out and return your Visitors sticker at the end of your visit.

Have fun!

Final Checklist

Before making your visit, are you familiar with our policies on:

  • Confidentiality

  • Racial Equality

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