Pupils at a Scottish independent school are all set to help children less fortunate than themselves by offering their services to the Volunteer Tutors Organisation (VTO).
Following training from the charity, 17 sixth formers at the High School of Glasgow will meet local children for an hour each week at a VTO learning hub, where they will help attendees with their homework, practise reading and maths, and generally support them with aspects of the curriculum they might be finding difficult.
“There’s nothing more rewarding than helping young people engage with their learning and seeing the moment the penny drops and everything clicks into place, and I’m excited that our pupils will experience this,” said Phil Ford, the school’s head of sixth form.
“Our sixth form volunteers have the chance to give something back to the local community while developing new skills, qualities and experiences, which will stand them in good stead for university and beyond.”
Glasgow-based VTO, providers of support for children facing significant social and economic barriers to their education, has been training the pupils through its leadership programme.
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“The most important thing about the VTO is that you do not need to be an education specialist to get involved,” said Barbara Oliver, the charity’s head of service.
“The organisation was set up from the very beginning [in 1977] to train and support ordinary people who want to do something practical to support children, and we warmly welcome pupils of the High School as our newest volunteers.
“Education is the most powerful way of improving people’s lives. We believe that all children should have access to educational support, irrespective of family circumstances.
“One-to-one interaction with a tutor away from the classroom is an effective way to assist education and our learning hubs provide structure and individual attention to children. Learning from older pupils provides positive role models in a more informal environment which can make asking questions easier.
“The relatively informal, but dedicated individual support provided by the VTO via our learning hubs and one-to-one tutoring has been found to be very effective and we’ve seen real success with children developing social skills including confidence, communication, cooperation, problem solving, concentration and patience.”
Pic: High School of Glasgow volunteers with Barbara Oliver, head of service at the Volunteer Tutors Organisation