Aims of the project
Apart from regularly visiting residents in this local care home for the elderly, our students volunteer in a variety of other local community groups such as:
- Weekly one-to-one mentoring at The West London Free School, IntoUniversity and the Rugby Portobello Trust.
- Assisting at youth clubs, Scout groups and charities
- Working with with environmental and conservation projects such as the London Wetlands and the Dukes Meadows Trust.
- Helping out at The Shepherd's Bush Families Project: a charity that help families who are homeless or in temporary accommodation.
- Planning and running the Primary School Debating course at LUS
- Helping staff to deliver classes at Latymer Upper Saturday School.
Latymer Upper School (LUS) has strong links with local primary schools where our students:
- Teach Latin, dance and ICT
- Help with reading in reception classes,
- Plan and carry out playground activities as well as acting as classroom assistants in many capacities
- Assist at after school clubs of all types: sport such as cricket & football; ICT; chess and art.
Many students develop their own contacts and find placements independently in their own local community near to their home. As a school, we make contact with these organisations in order to support our students, but also to keep the links alive for future partnership opportunities.
We believe that helping others in the local community is of great value to the wider education or our students, encouraging social responsibility and developing a sense of self awareness. Through volunteering students take on challenges and tasks that are outside their comfort zone, but bring huge personal rewards. Our partners feedback is positive and they are equally keen for their relationship with Latymer Upper to continue.
Background and goals
Since 2010, as a part of the sixth form curriculum, all lower sixth students (180) participate in voluntary service (VS). The requirement is a minimum of ten sessions, but many students continue for longer. They volunteer for up to two hours a week from the latter half of the Autumn Term until Easter or beyond.
The students are asked to reflect formally on their voluntary service and to evaluate their experiences. They identify highlights and difficulties, and assess the contribution they have made to the local community and the individuals that they have worked or socialised with. The students also reflect on if, or how, their attitudes and outlook may have changed.
Partner organisations are asked to feed back on the students' contribution and the benefits that were derived from their input.
Frequency and duration
Voluntary service is an integral part of the sixth form curriculum; we also anticipate expanding the project to other year groups, many of whom are already volunteering as part of their Duke of Edinburgh commitments. VS is likely to continue and grow.