Schools Plus
Help young people to achieve their academic potential by becoming involved with our Schools Plus programme!
1-2 hours a week
Various schools across Cambridge
What is Schools Plus?
Schools Plus Cambridge is one of the flagship voluntary projects of the Cambridge Hub. It is a student-run initiative that offers free tutorial and free extra-curricular activities to disadvantaged children and young people in the Cambridge area. We recruit the tutors and provide training and ongoing support throughout the project. Schools Plus runs in 6 of our sister Hubs across the country; in 2016/17, 562 tutors were placed nationally, reaching nearly 2,000 young people across 54 schools. 2018-19 is our fifth year operating in Cambridge and brings some very exciting opportunities to confront educational disadvantage in one of the UK's most unequal cities.
We focus on ‘closing the gap’ between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged children. We aim to improve the academic interest, confidence, attainment and aspiration of pupils who may otherwise struggle to achieve in their education.
The programme involves free weekly tutorial and extra-curricular activities, through projects that are designed in partnership with teachers to meet their educational priorities and the specific needs of the pupils involved. Tutors are matched to a project at a local school and work to help disadvantaged pupils reach their educational potential and to improve the English skills of non-native speakers (for example, the children of migrant families and unaccompanied asylum seekers).
Your travel expenses to and from the school will be reimbursed. We make sure that volunteering will not cost you a thing!
Why volunteer?
The overall goal is tackle educational disadvantage in Cambridge by raising the academic confidence, interest and attainment of disadvantaged pupils. Education in the UK is not fair - the amount that your family earns has a huge impact on the grades you achieve. Together we can change this!
  • Household income and geographic location have a huge impact on the educational level that children achieve. 4230 children in Cambridge (23.5%) live in poverty: their parents are unlikely to be able to afford to place their children in independent schools, nor to arrange private tutoring for them.
  • Educational attainment across Cambridge is 7% below average.
  • The city is divided geographically with regards to the number of children living below the poverty line. 32.5% of children in Abbey ward and 24.4% in Arbury ward are living in poverty, compared to 8.6% in West Chesterton. Educational achievement is thus even lower within the target schools of our Schools Plus programme, where attainment is constrained by socioeconomic background.
  • Aspiration and access to further education is similarly affected by economic inequality. In 2013/14, 85 percent of independent school pupils entered Higher Education, compared to only 22% of Free School Meal receivers in state-funded schools. The problem in Cambridge is severe, where only 13% of Free School Meal receivers from state schools enter Higher Education.
  • The gap between pupils at independent schools and free school meal receivers at state schools is even bigger. Private school students are 55 times more likely to enter Oxbridge and 22 times more likely to enter a top-ranked university than students at state schools who qualify for Free School Meals.
  • We partner with schools in Cambridge where there are a high proportion of pupils on Free School Meals, who have English as another language, and have special educational needs.
  • Our tutors work with these pupils to help them achieve their potential.
What roles are there in Schools Plus?
We're currently looking for committee members, project coordinators and tutors.
Tutor
  • To make a real difference, we ask that you commit to volunteer for 1-2 hours weekly during term time
  • No previous experience required
  • Bring your passion, enthusiasm, and commitment
Project Coordinator
  • The main contact for the teacher working with your project
  • Keep track of volunteer and pupil attendance each week
  • See here for more information on the role!
Committee Members
  • You can get involved with the Schools Plus Committee in a variety of roles - including recruitment, publicity and events.
  • See here for more information!
  • If you're interested in joining the Schools Plus Committee, contact Eleanor at eleanor.chapman@cambridgehub.org briefly explaining your motivation and relevant skills and experience.
What projects are currently available?
You can make a real difference to pupils' learning experiences and outcomes by volunteering on the following Schools Plus projects:
  • North Cambridge Academy is a secondary school in the north of Cambridge with a high percentage of pupils on Free School Meals, looking for tutors to help with GCSE Maths and GCSE English Literature.
  • St Laurence Catholic Primary School has a very high proportion of pupils with English as Another Language (60%) and so needs tutors to help on weekday afternoons developing children's communication skills. Applications from tutors with knowledge of Hebrew are particularly welcomed!
  • Gain experience delivering lessons at Cherry Hinton CofE Primary School - you could lead sessions on the Stone Age, marine life, the conservation of rainforests or WW2 in Cambridge. An excellent opportunity for aspiring teachers!
  • Help develop essential literacy and numeracy skills at Trumpington Primary School and Fawcett Primary School
  • Cambridgeshire's Virtual School for Looked After Children is looking for volunteers to help a group of unaccompanied asylum seekers aged 16-19 practising their English skills. These sessions will take place in the YMCA near Parkers Piece. We're aware that there is a lot of interest in this project so it's possible that some volunteers may be reallocated to other projects.
You can get involved with this project by helping at a Homework Club on weekday evenings or through joining in with sports sessions on Parkers Piece on Saturday mornings.
  • Kings Hedges Educational Federation are looking for volunteers to tutor a group of lower ability Year 5 pupils and higher ability Year 6 pupils who are at risk of not achieving the higher grades they're capable of in English and Maths.
Accessibility
Cambridge Hub is committed to making our activities inclusive to all students. We can make reasonable adjustments to application processes, selection workshops, training sessions, volunteering projects and other activities on a case-by-case basis.
We also provide ongoing support for the students we work with, so if you have particular accessibility needs, including special educational needs, please do get in touch with Will at manager@cambridgehub.org and let us know how we can make the activity more accessible.
Travel expenses
All volunteer travel expenses are reimbursed.
How can I apply?
Apply online following the link above as soon as possible!
Training sessions and an informal selection workshop will be held at 5.30pm on the 17th and 18th October - please keep these dates free!
If you're interested in volunteering to develop the English skills of unaccompanied asylum seekers, you will be required to attend an additional training session at 4pm on the 23rd October.
Get involved
Get in touch with Eleanor at eleanor.chapman@cambridgehub.org if you have any specific questions!
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© Cambridge Hub is a branch of Student Hubs, a registered charity in England and Wales, number 1122328.