We warmly encourage volunteers at St Gregory’s. We currently have a number of valued volunteers including one parent and two grandparents of pupils in our school. There are different ways you can volunteer including: helping in the classroom, joining school trips or supporting/helping to run an extra-curricular activity.
What is a classroom helper?
As a volunteer classroom helper you can assist teachers on a regular basis. You can help with tasks like listening to pupils read or change reading books. This can make a BIG difference to teachers and children.
Volunteer classroom helpers are often, but not always, parents of children at the school. We also recommend, should you wish to volunteer, that you do not help in your child’s class.
The role of classroom helper
Classroom helpers usually commit to spending regular slots of time in school each week. This time can vary from half an hour to half a day at most.
Classroom helpers make a big difference in improving standards. Even if you’re not helping in your child’s class, research shows that having a parent who volunteers, improves a child’s experience of school. This may be because you’re more ‘plugged in’ to school and know what goes on during their day. It’s a great way to get behind the scenes.
How to become a classroom helper
If you’re interested in volunteering, talk to your child’s teacher or Mrs Wroblewski to discuss when and how you would like to help.
Before you can work unsupervised in a school, you will need to have a police background check. It’s a standard procedure – carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Mrs Robinson in the school office will help you with this. You will be asked to fill out a straightforward form and bring in a number of key documents for evidence (i.e. your passport); the form is then sent off for processing – the check can take 4-6 weeks. This is an important part of our safeguarding processes.
We expect volunteers to uphold our motto and mission statement, adhere to our code of conduct and dress and behave in a manner which is professional and appropriate. You will be given more information on this before you begin volunteering.
Other ways to volunteer at St Gregory’s
Being a classroom helper is only one way to volunteer at your child’s school. There are other things you can do that don’t require a regular commitment. For example, we sometimes ask for parent volunteers to help with school educational visits. However, as with being a classroom helper, you will not be asked to look after your own child directly.
Another way you can help is by offering your skills. For example, your work experience may be useful to share with pupils at some point in the curriculum - again, not necessarily in your child’s year. We have previously held a World of Work Week and invited parents in to talk to children about their job or profession.
FoSG: Involvement in our Friends of St. Gregory's Association
Our active FoSG (formerly PTFA) is an organisation of parents, grandparents, parishioners and staff. Its role is to encourage closer links between home and school. Over the years it has raised a great deal of money which has been used to enhance learning in and out of school. Involvement in the FoSG also provides a great opportunity to socialise! Fundraising events, such as the Summer Fair, provide an opportunity for parents, staff, pupils and the whole community to get together.
Please get involved. Some of the roles can be time-consuming, although also rewarding. If you can’t commit to a big job, look out for things you can do less frequently (e.g. running a stall at the Summer Fair, baking for a cake sale). And you can always support FoSG events by simply turning up! More information on the FoSG.