Great! We couldn’t be more pleased to have you on board. Schools-based volunteering is such a valuable way to use your 14 hours and it doesn’t have to take a full day. Running a lesson or session may only take a few hours in total, meaning you can spread out your volunteering hours. Why not volunteer with a colleague and share the experience?

Working with children can be so inspiring, their enthusiasm is like nothing else and the sense of achievement you will feel after being a part of their day makes the planning and preparation more than worthwhile.

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You could:

  • lead a class of pupils/students for one or more sessions
  • assist a teacher
  • work with pupils/students as individuals, in pairs or groups
  • run an assembly
  • lead a reading group
  • become a Number Cruncher.

Also… if you would like to look the part, the Citizenship team provides volunteer t-shirts for a donation of just £1. If you would like one please contact: citizenship@nationwide.co.uk

Buddy list

All the people listed below have volunteered and are happy to share their experiences with you and offer advice.

When contacting them, please bear in mind that they have volunteered to share their details to provide support in addition to their day job.

Lorna Nelson – lorna.nelson@nationwide.co.uk
Karen Bennett – karenb.bennett@nationwide.co.uk
Jonathan Baison – jonathan.baison@nationwide.co.uk
Jennifer Henderson – jennifer.henderson@nationwide.co.uk
Jeremy Beach – jeremy.beach@nationwide.co.uk

We’ve created some great resources to support you, which are available NationwideEducation.co.uk. Here are some of the topics we’ve covered…

Financial capability – understanding money and finances.

Employability – preparing for the world of work.

Sustainability – being responsible citizens and understanding their impact on the environment.

Safety – keeping safe at home and when out and about.

See Resources

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Once you have an idea of the tools available it’s time to make contact with a school.

The most successful approach we’ve found is speaking directly with a school – the personal approach goes a long way. Some volunteers have found that visiting a school and explaining what you want to do is the most effective way to get to speak to someone.

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Teachers are always happy to discuss their pupils/students learning needs and will be keen to have you cover something which is relevant to their learning stage and subject. You can volunteer for either primary or secondary schools and there are resources available for each age group. Also, you can choose to volunteer as an individual or as part of a group.

You may be asked if you have been DBS checked, although a lot of schools don’t require this as long as a teacher is present. The school will advise you on what they require.

For more information on DBS checks, please scroll down to Further information.

Remember! The school is your customer and your role is to find out how you can help. It’s important to understand what a teacher may be thinking and what you might need to explain to them.

What do teachers want to know?

  • The materials we offer are FREE and linked to the national curricula.
  • All materials are independent of Nationwide’s products and services.
  • We aren’t trying to sell or promote our products.
  • The materials are fun and interactive with the hope of inspiring young people.
  • Volunteers are interested in learning what their schools/class objectives are and how we fit in.
  • The resources have been developed with input from teachers, students and pupils.
  • There’s a range of ways volunteers may be able to help.
  • How much time you can offer?
The children were so engaged and the energy was fantastic!

This is quite an important part of your volunteering journey, the more prepared you are the more confident you will feel.

Lessons typically last about 50 mins but you could also be planning a shorter or longer session as part of an assembly or workshop. Use all of the resources available to you and tailor them to suit your needs.

You shouldn’t need to take any equipment with you but discuss this with your teacher just in case.

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Here are some pointers:

  • Think about the age group you are going to be working with and reflect back on the conversations you’ve had with their teacher.
  • Having a good mix of practical and theory works well.
  • Use the lesson plans on NationwideEducation.co.uk to help you create a fun and inspirational experience for the group.

A typical lesson

5 min Introduction
Tell them your story and journey with Nationwide Building Society.
30-40 mins Activity
A factsheet from NationwideEducation.co.uk to introduce a topic, and an interactive game (these go down very well) to engage the group.
Get them working on a worksheet in groups and finish with a quiz.
For example
Primary: Check-it-out!
Secondary: Get Real with money and Money Stuff
5 mins Wrap up and close
Re-cap with some informal questions to the group to see what they can remember and close your session.

And now for the fun part!

The most important things to remember are to take your time and to be prepared. If you’ve got notes to follow and supporting resources at your fingertips,you’ll be confident. If you’d like to take props or visual aids with you they can be a great way of bringing your session to life and remind you of a particular point you wanted to cover.

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Think about your audience, for example, taking a PowerPoint presentation to a group of very young children may not be as successful as something more practical and engaging. What words will they and won’t they understand?

Make a note of words they may not understand and think about how you can explain them in other ways. Consider asking conversational-style questions along the way to get a better understanding of the group’s knowledge of the subject in hand.

My team ran a group session and everyone got so much out of it

Key points to remember:

  • It’s great to describe who we are and your role as this will engage the class, however volunteering in schools and using Nationwide Education resources are not opportunities to promote any of our products.
  • Any session you run is for the pupils/students, it isn’t to talk about Nationwide Building Society, even if you are asked to.
  • Ask lots of questions for the kids to answer, making it interactive.
  • Bring energy to the table so you can engage and inspire.

A vital part of ensuring you’re making a difference is gaining an understanding about how successful the session has been and what else you can do.

It’s also really important to report back to the Citizenship team so that we can communicate with our members and other employees on the impact our volunteering programmes have had. In order to do this we need just a little help from you.

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Your feedback:

Please ensure you log your hours and activity on the Citizenship Employee Hub. The more you can tell us the better. If you would also like to provide a case study for us to share with other volunteers or those thinking of getting involved please do!

All feedback received will be carefully considered and used in the future development of Nationwide Education. Please help us ensure the success of the programme by carrying out this important step.

The teacher’s feedback:

We’d like the teacher you work with to complete a short feedback form which is available here. You can either email the form or leave a paper copy and collect it at a later date.

Please send completed forms to Education – Citizenship, C1, Nationwide House, Swindon or email them to education@nationwide.co.uk.

Volunteering has been such a worthwhile activity.

Top tips

  • Remember that teachers are busy during the school day so are more likely to be available after 3.30pm.
  • Keep in mind that you’re approaching the school as an ambassador of Nationwide Building Society. Use positive language and show your enthusiasm for your role and the time you wish to give as a volunteer.
  • Schools are also responsible for going out and engaging their communities, so working with you will help them achieve this.
  • Sometimes you do have to try more than once! This is because teachers get a lot of enquiries from people about using various resources, many of which are not free, so they can be, understandably, a little sceptical at first.
  • Give them some context on where you’re from and what the volunteering programme is all about.
  • Many schools have smart boards so it’s worth asking if you can use this to make the session interactive.
  • Listen to the needs of the teachers. Try not to have a fixed idea of what you want to do before asking the teacher what they need.
  • Re-iterate that the resources are free and don’t promote our products or services (teachers can sometimes be wary of this).
  • Tell the teacher you are working with about any previous experience you have of working with young people as it will build your credibility.
  • Be mindful of the school’s timetable and pressures, for example, exams, holidays etc.
  • Always try and get a firm date and time for an initial meeting.
The experience was amazing. Planning was key. I felt a huge sense of achievement

Further information

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks

A lot of schools don’t require a DBS check as long as a teacher is present. Please don’t be put off as they’ll advise you, It can be confusing but just ask your teacher contact and they will advise you on what is required.

More information can be found at: gov.uk/disclosure-barring-service-check

As you’re a volunteer it will be free of charge. A school may not require a DBS check however they may still require ID from you for security, such as your passport and proof of address.

Other Nationwide Education Programmes

We hope we’ve given you a good understanding of what’s involved with general schools volunteering. We also run a number of programmes which you might like to find out more about including Number Crunchers and Dragon’s Den.

Thank you for your time so far and good luck volunteering, we hope you have a blast!

If you’ve got any questions at all, or need further support, please contact education@nationwide.co.uk

The Citizenship Team.

Volunteering has been such a worthwhile activity.