As a confused third year history student, I have made it my mission to gain as much work experience as possible. Hopefully, this will encourage a graduate scheme not to reject me. Whenever people hear that I am studying a history degree, they automatically ask ‘what are you going to do with that, become a teacher?’ As a result of this, I thought it would be beneficial to gain some work experience in a school. I noticed that the volunteering office at the University had many schemes that would enable me to gain work experience with children. The one that stood out to me the most was the ‘literacy champions’ project; which is the subject of this blog post.
After signing up for the project, I was required to attend a safeguarding children workshop and a literacy champions training session. In addition, the volunteering office helped me to apply for a DBS certificate, which would allow, me to volunteer with children. After participating in and reminiscing over some old primary school games, I was ready to volunteer at the school. The volunteering team assigned me to a local school that I, as someone with a limited geographic knowledge of Sheffield, had never heard of. Before my first visit, I looked up the best way to get to my school. I determined this to be the bus. However, three weeks into my volunteering placement, it has become clear that the tram is a far more convenient mode of transport (except the time when I got on the wrong tram and almost ended up at Hillsborough).
In terms of my experiences volunteering at the school so far, I have found the experience worthwhile and rewarding. I have spent my time helping the children with guided reading. The children were still reading some of my childhood favourites; such as Harry Potter and Horrid Henry. Overall, I would recommend volunteering to anyone hoping to gain some extra work experience and participate in a worthwhile project.