St Albans School Community Link; Sixth Form students assisting in Schools for Children with Special Educational Needs
Throughout the academic year a group of Lower Sixth (Year 12) students from St Albans School volunteer on Friday afternoons to work as teaching assistants in three local schools for Children with special educational needs.
At Woodfield School the students work primarily with individual children with severe, or profound and multiple learning disabilities they provide valuable support and assistance to classroom teachers giving IT, drama, art, music and general classroom assistance.
At Watling View School, which caters for children and young people aged from 2 to 19 with either severe, or profound and multiple learning disabilities the St Albans students also work with individual children, as above. In addition they help pupils in the hydrotherapy pool, and with self-expression in speech and with sign language.
At St Luke's in Redbourn, the St Albans School sixth formers also assist in the classrooms, working with individuals with complex moderate learning difficulties, autism spectrum disorders and speech, language and communication needs.
The partnership came about through the desire to:
- Promote pupils’ moral and spiritual growth.
- Nurture relationships with local organisations and provide support in the local community.
Embody the School motto Non nobis nati.("Born not for ourselves")
Success is measured through positive feedback from school staff and volunteers.
The partnership came about as an investigation into local special schools that require additional assistance and could provide a mutually beneficial volunteering opportunity for our students.
It has been successfully running now for over 6 years.
The main resource is taxi transport to the schools, which is funded by St Albans School.
Assessment of the benefits are qualitative.
Assessment is carried out regularly through the year through discussion between St Albans School Head of Community Link with our student volunteers, and with representatives at the schools that they work in. This discussion is used to gain an insight into the experiences of volunteers, children and teachers and as a means to highlight areas for potential future development.
A select number of student volunteers give an annual presentation of their experiences as a means to promote the volunteering opportunity to students in lower years of the school.
St Albans pupils involved are boys and girls from the Lower Sixth (Year 12).
The students volunteer for between one and two hours every Friday afternoon throughout the academic year.
The project is ongoing.