Active Student - a volunteer's experience
Pete was doing a BA in Physical Education with a Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) at the Chelsea School in Eastbourne when he started volunteering.
Pete did two volunteering placements which were part of the St Johns Meads After School Clubs run by Active Student at the Chelsea School in Eastbourne. The clubs provide sports activities to children aged 5 to 11 years from the local St Johns Meads Primary School.
The clubs have been very successful and new sports have been added each term with students leading the sessions. We caught up with Pete to ask him a few questions about his volunteering.
Why did you decide to get involved with Active Student?
To get more experience working with children and to become more of an active part of the university.
Which volunteering opportunities are you doing?
I’m doing the short tennis helping out as a general volunteer, and the swimming club as a swimming leader.
Why did you choose those opportunities?
I hadn’t done short tennis before so I thought it would be good to try it out and gain some experience in that sport.
The swimming session I did because it accompanied a swimming module that I was taking as part of my degree. I’m also a qualified swimming coach. I wanted to be able to use new ideas from the swimming module immediately to gain experience for the future because sometimes you are not able to use what you have learnt until months after you have graduated and by then you may have forgotten what you have learnt.
Have you found them to be rewarding? And how?
Yeah, I think it accompanied the course well. I am also learning behavioural control and behavioural management in my course so it gave me an opportunity to try out new ideas.
Did you receive any training? What kind of training was it?
Before I started my volunteering my Active Student worker discussed with me how the sessions were to run and I was briefed on child protection issues. After, I watched and followed the short tennis leader who was very competent. As for the swimming, my teaching degree complemented the volunteering nicely. My course assisted me in what I needed to know.
What have you gained from your volunteering so far?
It was an opportunity to try out new things. It was also a good opportunity to try out what I have learnt and to see which ideas are effective or not effective. I got to use some techniques from the behavioural management course and was able to see what works and what doesn’t. The experiences I have gained will be useful for future teaching, hopefully teaching pupils in the National Curriculum.
Would you recommend volunteering through Active Student to other students?
Yes, especially if they would like to work with children. It’s a good idea. It would also be good to use as an accompaniment to their teaching degree.