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Thank you so much for volunteering at St. George’s. We welcome volunteers to work with us in school to support and enrich our children’s learning. If, after helping, you feel you have any other particular skills that could add to our wider curriculum (for example, running a club or providing an opportunity for children that isn’t already catered for), please feel free to contact the school office and let them know.
We hope these notes will help inform you of some of our procedures and aims.
St. George’s Primary is a friendly, supportive and hard-working team and we hope your time with us is both rewarding and happy.
ST GEORGE’S remains focused on our vision of being an educationally inclusive school:
‘Effective schools are educationally inclusive schools. This shows not only in their performance, but also in their ethos and their willingness to offer new opportunities to pupils who have experienced previous difficulties. This does not mean treating all pupils in the same way. Rather it involves taking account of pupils’ varied life experiences and needs’.
We believe that children will work to the best of their abilities when they are in an environment in which they feel happy and safe. We can promote their self-esteem and their willingness to try by:
- Praising both effort and achievements
- Using positive behaviour strategies to encourage and engage the children
- Encourage reflection and thinking skills
- Getting to know and accept each child
- Smile! Tell them you are proud / pleased / impressed!
If you have any issues, the first person you should speak to is the Class teacher or Teaching Assistant. If you have issues of a broader nature, please speak to the Key Stage Leaders, Deputy Head Teacher or Head Teacher. However, the following are guidelines and policies that you will need to be aware of when working in school.
PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
Volunteers working at St. George’s Primary School are expected to demonstrate consistently high standards of personal conduct. The following statements define the behaviour and attitudes which set the required standard for conduct at St. George’s Primary School.
- Treating children and staff with dignity, building relationships rooted in mutual respect, and at all times observing proper boundaries appropriate to the volunteer position.
- Having a regard for the need to safeguard children’s well-being, in accordance with statutory provisions.
- Showing tolerance for the rights of others.
- Not undermining fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
- As a Christian School our aim is to value each pupil as an individual and reflecting the principles of our school values, Respect, Honesty, Courage, Kindness, Forgiveness and Hope.
- Ensuring that personal beliefs are not expressed in ways which exploit children’s vulnerability or might lead them to break the law.
- Volunteers must have proper and professional regard for the ethos, policies and practices of the school in which they work, and maintain high standards in their own attendance and punctuality.
DAILY CONDUCT REQUIREMENTS FOR VOLUNTEERS
Attendance and Timekeeping
In the event of absence, the school secretary should be notified.
To promote a healthy and pleasant working environment and because of the fire risk, smoking (in any form, including the use of e-cigarettes) is not allowed anywhere on site.
In the interests of security, volunteers must sign in and out using the board outside of the school office. External doors should be kept shut, particularly when leaving a Classroom.
The school regularly receives visits from parents, potential parents and others, and naturally wishes to convey an impression of professionalism, efficiency and organisation. Therefore whilst not wishing to impose unreasonable obligations on volunteers they are, nonetheless, required to look professional in appearance and wear clothing appropriate to the tasks to be undertaken.
Use of Mobile Phones and Cameras
Mobile phones should not be used when working with the children. Neither staff, volunteers nor children may use their own mobile phones to take photographs for school activities.
Staff room conversations & email communication
‘Treating children, staff and other adults with dignity, building relationships rooted in mutual respect, and at all times observing proper boundaries’. This statement should be borne in mind when discussing any child or adult.
- Be positive and praise the children.
- Come to the main School Office, sign in and wear an identification badge
- Treat all children equally and with respect and expect to be treated with respect
- Report any potential child protection issues to one of the Safeguarding Officers (see below)
- Refer any behaviour management issues to the class teacher.
- Speak to the class teacher if you have any general concerns.
- If you have any whole school issues, please speak to one of the Key Stage Leader or the Headteacher.
- Report any Health and Safety matters to the Headteacher.
- If you have finished what you have been asked to do, please feel free to ask what you can do next – there will be plenty!
- Advise office/class teacher as soon as possible if you are not going to be in school.
- Be punctual
- Enjoy working and playing with the children.
- Handle the children.
- Discuss incidents/behaviour with any other parents/carers.
- Enter the children’s toilets without another adult being present.
- Be alone with a child unless you have a completed DBS check and are directed to do so by the class teacher.
- Park on the premises. Parking can be tight and we request that you avoid using a car if at all possible.
- Use photocopiers and laminators unless you have been given the full training.
As a new face to the children, you may be in a position where a child discloses sensitive information to you. You have a duty to pass this on and there are ‘golden rules’ to follow:
- Listen to the child and do not interrupt him/her.
- Do not ask any leading questions.
- Do not promise that you will keep it a secret.
- Go immediately and directly to a Designated Safeguarding Leaders to inform them of what the child has said – (Libby Rye, Rachel Cunningham and Kathy Baylis)
- As soon as possible, write down what the child has told you in his/her words.
- Do not speak with anyone else about what the child has disclosed to you.
Please refer to the ‘Safeguarding Policy’ for detailed information or speak to one of the Designated Safeguarding Leaders.
Volunteer Pupil relationships and communications
Volunteers need to ensure that their behaviour does not inadvertently lay them open to allegations of abuse. They need to treat all pupils with respect and ensure they are not alone with a child or young person. Where this is not possible, for example, hearing an individual child read in the corridor, it is important to ensure that others are within earshot. A gap or barrier should be maintained between volunteer and child at all times.
Communication with Pupils
Volunteers should not give their personal mobile phone numbers to pupils, nor should they communicate with them by text message, social networking sites or personal email. Volunteers should be aware that it is not appropriate to use social media to communicate with pupils.
Communication with Staff
Volunteers who have children in school should remember that during the day, they are here as a volunteer. If you have any questions, complaints or areas for discussion regarding your own child, you should make an appointment to see the class teacher before or after school, in the same way that all parents do. Teachers likewise, should avoid discussing children with volunteers whilst they are working at school but again make an appointment to see them after school.
Health and Safety
Report any first aid incident in the first instance to the Class Teacher or Teaching Assistant. Any incident where a child is hurt should be referred to one of the trained first aiders, lists of whom are displayed around school. First aid is only administered by qualified members of staff.
- All medication must be sent to the office and is administered from there.
- When changing children after an accident or washing, two adults must be present and at least one must be a member of staff.
Fire notices are displayed in every room in the school and all volunteers are expected to familiarise themselves with the procedure including location of extinguishers and routes of exit. For further information please read our health and safety policy: Click here
Staff room and kitchen
You are welcome to take a break in the staff room. As you provide invaluable support in a voluntary capacity, the St. George’s staff have kindly agreed to fund your teas and coffees. All we ask is that you please help to keep this area tidy.
The staff room is for all of the school staff and should be a place where staff can relax. General school information will be displayed on the walls and the whiteboard. Such matters and any discussions with staff should be treated with confidentiality.
- All volunteers to come to the main office entrance, report to reception, sign in the visitor’s book and wear an volunteer’s badge.
- We ask that all volunteers wear identification badges at all times.
- All volunteers must ensure that people trying to gain entry to the school enter via the main entrance and sign in.
- We ask volunteers to let us know if they see anyone acting suspiciously near our school at any time.
- Volunteers to contact the School Office or a member of staff in an emergency,
- All external classroom doors should be closed during break times or when the classrooms are empty.
- Staff based in school are the only people who should be aware of the combination to the main front doors, the staff entrance/exit and the key pad to the staff corridor.
- We ask everyone to be patient – good security can be frustrating!
Other relevant information can be found on the schools website: http://st-georges-wrotham.kent.sch.uk/
Headteacher: Mrs E Rye
Address: St. George’s Primary School, Old London Road, Wrotham, nr. Sevenoaks, Kent TN15 7DL
Tel: 01732 882401
School Begins: 8.55am
Break: Year R, 1 & 2 from 10.15am – 10.30am
Years 3, 4, 5 & 6 from 10:45am – 11:00am
Lunchtime: EYFS & KS1 11.50am – 1.00pm
Years 3 & 4 from 12:10pm – 1:00pm
Years 5 & 6 from 12:30pm – 1:20pm
School Ends: 3.15pm
School lunches are available to work experience students. Payment can be made to the Finance Office, using cash or cheque, placed in an envelope with the relevant dates. Please write your name and meal selection on the list outside the school office. A school dinner costs £2.65.
Please find the digital copy of this handbook on our website under Parent Information – Volunteer Information where you can access the attached documents. Click here