Helping in School
Thank you for volunteering to help in school. The staff and children really appreciate your offer of help and are looking forward to working with you. The support that parents/carers are able to give is highly valued as it benefits the whole school. In line with Hampshire’s policy we DBS (Police check) everyone who volunteers in school. The DBS is filled out online. Pop into the office to find out how to start this process.
This pack contains some information which you may find helpful. If there is anything that you need to know, please ask a member of staff – they will be pleased to answer any questions.
We hope that you will enjoy the time that you spend with us.
At Tweseldown Infant School we believe that all children have a right to reach their full potential in a safe environment where they feel at ease.
We recognise that all people are different and some people face prejudice and discrimination on the grounds of gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, age and culture.
We believe that the school is a community where everyone has a role in providing, supporting and promoting equal opportunities for all. We will always challenge any discrimination which occurs in school.
Babies/Toddlers in School
Unfortunately, as much as we would like to welcome your baby/toddler in the classroom/office, it is not possible due to the limited amount of space and resources we have. However, there are other activities in school which you could support where this is not a problem, e.g. preparing resources at home. Please discuss this with a member of staff if you are interested.
When you arrive in school
When you arrive at school it is important that you follow certain basic procedures. Everybody is asked to do this in order that we keep the children safe and protect you in case of an emergency. For example, if there is a fire in school, it is essential we know who is in the building so we can make sure that everyone has left the building safely.
When you arrive in school, please:
- Sign in at the school office.
- Read our Health and Safety brochure
- Let the member of staff you will be working with know you have arrived.
- Put your belongings in a safe place.
- Help yourself to refreshments in the staffroom.
Practical issues in school
Break & Lunchtime
Whilst in school parent/carer helpers are not allowed on the playground during break or lunchtime.
You are welcome to help yourself to refreshments whilst in school but please remember that it is dangerous to have hot drinks when you are with the children.
You are welcome to join the staff for tea or coffee in the staff room at breaktimes.
You are welcome to use the staff toilets which are situated in the admin block.
The school operates a no-smoking policy. Unfortunately, due to the lack of space in school, we are unable to provide a smoking area.
The school is unable to accept responsibility for your personal belongings. It is therefore best to avoid bringing valuables into school with you as there are few secure places they can be left.
There are several places in school where you can leave your coat. Any member of staff will be happy to advise you of the nearest/most appropriate place to leave you handbag or wallet.
Please speak to a member of staff about storing these.
The fire procedures are clearly displayed in each classroom and various areas around school. Please ensure you familiarise yourself with these procedures in the area where you are working. If you are unsure, please ask a member of staff. Your safety is important to us.
If a child is in need of first aid, please inform a member of staff immediately. Under NO circumstances must you give a child any form of first aid. This is to protect you as well as the child.
If you are first on the scene after an accident, please call a member of staff for help. DO NOT attempt to move a child/adult or to stop any bleeding.
If you need first aid, please make a member of staff aware and they can direct you to the appropriate place.
If you would like us to know about any particular medical condition you have, or need a safe place to store medication that you must take, please let us know.
Please help to keep everyone as safe as possible by ensuring that:
- Any liquids spilt on the floor are wiped up immediately or inform a member of staff so this can be done.
- All four legs of the children’s chairs are kept on the floor at all times, particularly when anyone is sitting.
- Sharp utensils or hot pans are kept out of the reach of children or are strictly supervised.
- Scissors or sharp utensils are always carried with the point down.
- Children’s shoelaces are tied.
- Children do not run in the building or climb on equipment around the building.
- Fire exits are not blocked by anything.
The school has a Health and Safety policy which you are welcome to read at any time. Please ask a member of staff if you would like to do so.
During your time in school, you may read confidential information (private) or a teacher may share a piece of information with you about a child. You must remember this information as been shared with you to help you carry out your task; it must not be shared with anyone else, in or out of school.
Also during your time in school, a child may share a secret with you. This is because the child has come to trust you in school. You must respect this trust and not share the information with others. However, if you have concerns about what the child has said, you should discuss it with the class teacher and they will decide what to do.
Parents/carers who come in and support the work of the school will appreciate the importance of respecting issues of confidentiality relating to individual children, parents and staff and will not discuss confidential information with others.
Remember not to talk about school matters out of school with anyone.
Hearing something which concerns you
While you are working with the children they may say something or you may see something which concerns you. Please do not ask the child any questions. Please discuss this quietly with the member of staff at the first possible moment. It is essential that you do this before you go home. Please also remember not to share this with anyone else. We will probably ask you to write the incident up and sign and date it.
Behaviour in school
We encourage all children to be polite, however there are times when children need to be reminded of this. If you are with children who are being rude to another person, please remind them to be polite. If a child persists in this behaviour or is behaving badly in another way, please talk to a member of staff immediately so this can be addressed.
The school has a behaviour policy which it follows at all times; please discuss this with a member of staff. You are welcome to read through this policy at any time.
Tips for working in school
- Always try to be fair
- Never smack a child
- Never physically move a child unless it is an emergency.
- Try not to encourage favourites or jump to conclusions about any individual child.
- Praise the children and always try to find something positive to say about a child’s work.
- Try to always listen carefully and appear interested when a child is talking to you. Children soon become disheartened if they think you do not value what they have to say.
- Avoid getting into an argument with a child. Try to stay calm.
- Never make assumptions about a child’s ability to do something, because what you may think is easy may be very difficult for the child. Remember how you feel when you are faced with something difficult or are apprehensive about trying something new.
- Encourage a child to try. It can be very tempting to do it yourself but remember, a child will never learn if you do it for them.
- If you are unsure about something, always ask a member of staff. Remember that everybody values your support and wants to ensure you have a good experience.
- Always look for the positives. It is damaging to be negative about a child’s work or about a person’s appearance, odour, culture, speech, etc.
- Be prepared – always try and check out if children have used the equipment before or played the game before.
When you are leaving school
Following basic procedures when you are leaving school is just as important as when you arrive in school. Everyone is asked to sign out to make sure an accurate record can be kept of who is on the premises at any one time.
When you are leaving school, please make sure you:
- Say goodbye to the children and member of staff (children sometimes worry if you suddenly disappear).
- Collect your personal belongs
- Sign out and return your ID badge to the office.
What to do if you can't attend
If you know you are going to be unable to attend in advance, please let the member of staff know as soon as possible so that they can re-arrange their planning or ask someone else to help that day.
If you suddenly find you can’t attend because something unexpected has come up, please ring into school to let the member of staff know. It is better for the school to know even a few minutes beforehand than not at all. Staff then know they have to change their plans rather than delay an activity thinking you are going to arrive.
This really does make a difference.
The staff and governors at Tweseldown School are working hard to extend our partnership with parents and the local community.
If you have any suggestions that will help us move forward, we are very interested to hear them.
Please share your ideas with a member of staff.
Thank you for your valuable help and support!