We believe in the power of young people.
We believe that the existing education system is not tailored to meet the needs of all pupils, that quality education is a fundamental right for all, and that young people have a key role in solving educational inequality. We work to tackle unequal levels of access to resources and support, to enable primary school pupils to achieve their full potential.
Our vision is a society where all children irrespective of their background are able to achieve their full potential and where young people play an integral role in this.
How it works
All of our tutoring is conducted on a one-to-one basis because we believe, and the evidence supports this, that pupils will respond better to having this dedicated attention which they otherwise wouldn’t have access to. The one-to-one nature of our tutoring also enables our volunteers to build a strong relationship with their tutee(s), helping them getting to know their tutee(s) and ultimately ensures our volunteers are able to provide tailored training which meets the need of that tutee.
The benefits go beyond the tuition as our volunteers act as role models, inspiring the pupils we work with, providing them with the attention needed to boost their confidence and helping them enjoy learning; all of which has an impact beyond the improvements in Maths or English which we see.
Led by young people
Empowering young people has long been an important goal of NGOs, and it is a goal Students4Students shares too. However, we have taken it one step further; we don’t just empower young people to make a change we enable them to lead the change. Our member led organisational structure means the young people who volunteer with us don’t just deliver our tutoring, but they also set our strategy, decide our policies and help shape the very essence of what Students4Students sets out to do. Our young volunteers are our organisations leaders.
We have put young people at the heart of what we do because we believe that across the UK there are thousands of young people who share the same vision for a more equal education system which allows all children to succeed. We want to connect those who share this vision and use their passion, their ideas and their drive to change in their local communities. We believe that young people can be change makers.
Our core values
Is Students4Students for me?If you are current university student, passionate about education, believe that every child deserves to succeed and can commit to giving up one hour every week for two academic terms to deliver tutoring, plus a little extra time to plan the sessions, then the answer is yes! Don’t worry if you don’t have lots of experience, or any at all; we recruit based upon enthusiasm and cultural fit for the organisation. We believe that tutoring skills can be taught but enthusiasm can’t. Our Recruitment Officers therefore look for individuals who want to make a difference, are clear communicators and are quick learners.
Submitting an ApplicationSubmitting an application is simple and it takes less than 15 minutes to complete; you can do it here. The form is designed so that we can get to know a bit more about you, why you want to volunteer and why you believe you’d be a fantastic tutor. For Q. 11, 12 and 13 we want responses to be written in full sentences and we suggest that you spend some time writing your answers in another document before pasting them into the form. Please check over the whole form for any mistakes before submitting as there won’t be an opportunity to make any corrections. For more information about the application form please read our complete Question Guide here Once you have submitted the form it will be sent to the Recruitment Officer for the respective branch and they will then read and process your application. You will be notified via email about the outcome of your application within 5-10 days. However please note that during September/October when we have lots of applicants the response time may be slightly longer. If your application was unsuccessful, you can email the Recruitment Officer for the respective branch and ask for feedback.
The InterviewIf your application was successful you will be invited to an interview with a committee member from the respective branch. The interviews are 15-20 minutes long and are focused on establishing whether you have the interpersonal skills tutoring requires, share our core values and are suited to working with children. A full guide to the interview can be found here
Child SafetyThroughout the application process we will be assessing your suitability to work with children. We do this both through external checks, such as a DBS check, and through the questions we ask during the application process. We are not looking for knowledge of child safety law – we provide compulsory training on this. As part of our recruitment process everyone who is successful with the interview must get an enhanced DBS check. The DBS check is free, the branch you apply for will inform you about how to complete the DBS. A guide to our DBS process can be found here. For queries about what information you will need to provide please see the .gov.uk site on DBS checks. Once you receive your DBS certificate you will need to share it with the Tutor Liaison Officer for the respective branch. In addition, you will need to enrol with the DBS update service, this is because we re-review everyone’s DBS checks every two years. Please note that there is a different process for checking convictions for anyone who has lived abroad for more three months over the last 5 years. A guide to this process can be found here If you are already enrolled with the DBS update service let the branch Recruitment Officer know, as you will not need a new DBS check. The Recruitment Officer will help you through the process. You can find our child safety policy here and our recruitment policy here
Training and supportAs part of the recruitment process we provide training to all new volunteers. There are two components; 1) Externally provided child safety training and 2) Students4Students internal tutor training. The child safety training covers the basics of existing legislation and best practice, it is then complimented with Students4Student’s own child safety policies. The focus of the internal training is on our Goal Setting Methodology, the practicalities of tutoring and also the key policies you need to be aware of. By the end of the two sessions you will be ready to start tutoring! The support we provide doesn’t stop with training, there are also regular support sessions throughout each term organised by each branch as well as additional training available. Students4Students is continually improving the support we offer to our volunteers and each branch will provide support beyond the minimum level which is set nationally. For more information on the support a branch provides please contact the Tutor Liaison Officer for the respective branch.
Being assigned a pupil and starting at a schoolOnce we have seen your DBS and you have attended training, based on your availability and preference for subject, you will be assigned a school. This school will be where you will tutor for the duration of the term – and also for subsequent terms unless scheduling prevents this. Within that school you will be assigned two pupils (or one if the school has opted to have one hour sessions) who you will work with each week. When you first visit the school you will be given a short briefing about the school, their child safety procedures and the focus areas for the pupil(s) you will working with. You may also meet the pupil in this first visit, but this is dependent upon when the school can fit this initial briefing session in; often it has to be after school hours. Once you have had this briefing tutoring can commence and you will be given the exact time for when your tutoring session will take place.
Planning and delivering tutoring sessionsBeing prepared for tutoring sessions is critical to making them a success but planning can be daunting; so Students4Students has made it as easy as possible for you to prepare and then deliver the tutoring sessions. We provide a clear framework for how the sessions should be planned, including templates for session plans and how to break larger topics up into manageable chunks. We provide detailed training on the goal setting framework we use to underpin the planning and delivery of training. Whilst we do provide a framework for how to plan sessions, we do not provide prescriptive teaching methods; this is because each child we work with has different learning needs and we believe that using one prescriptive method will not suit all of the pupils we work with. We will provide all the necessary resources in order for you to choose from a range of different methods. It is therefore up to you, the tutor, to decide how you want to teach a specific topic based upon what works well with your pupil.
Joining the Students4Students communityWhilst tutoring is at the core of what we do, Students4Students is about so much more than just that. We are made up of communities of young people who are committed to supporting children in their local area. We are always looking for new ways we can support the children we work with and how we can better support the local communities within which we operate. By joining your local branch, you are joining this community and are committing to helping make change not only within the school at which you will be assigned but also the wider local community and Students4Students. Students4Students is not one homogeneous organisation each branch has their own different culture and operates in a slightly different way in order to fit with their local communities’ needs. This enables greater innovation, more scope for volunteers to shape what we do and a more adaptable organisation as a whole. As a volunteer you will have numerous opportunities to get involved in wider Students4Students activities alongside your tutoring. If you share our values and have a desire to make change in your local community then Students4Students is for you.
Since our founding in 2015 our philosophy has always been to be student led. Each of our branches is therefore led by university students who are empowered to take the decisions that they believe will further our impacts. The work that we do could not happen without the amazing work of our branch committees.
The Bristol Branch was founded in January 2018 and we had our first tutoring session later that year in March. We started work with just 5 volunteers but this year we have over 20 volunteers working with 30 pupils! The branch has really gone from strength to strength.
This academic year we are focusing on working with more schools as we try to accommodate the new volunteers who are starting. We are really looking forward to continuing growing Students4Students in Bristol!
The Bristol Committee.
Oxford was the first Students4Students branch, founded on a wet afternoon in the winter of 2015. Much has changed since that first meeting, with the branch having over quadrupled in size since that first term of tutoring and all of the first committee having long graduated, but the original ethos of making change in local communities still drives what we do.
This academic year (2019/20) will see us undergo a significant change as we look to recruit Oxford Brookes students for the first time; this will double the student pool we can recruit from. We are really excited to take this opportunity and look forward to growing the number of pupils we can work with.
The Oxford Committee
The Durham branch, founded in 2017, has quickly become Students4Students largest branch, with over 50 tutors. The close co-operation with the Durham Student Union, pioneered by Durham’s first Chair (Eithar) has now become the standard model across the other branches. Durham has continued this enterprising spirit by exploring how we can partner with other student organisations to grow our reach.
This year we are working to increase the involvement our tutors have in decision making at the branch level. We know that our volunteers have so many amazing ideas, we just need to help make them a reality!
The Durham Committee
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