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Back to Our Approach in Schools

Transforming school environments

Our volunteer mentors build rapport with pupils and partner with teachers, to help create school environments where children feel safe, connected and welcomed.

Our role

A growing body of research is finding that positive, caring, professional relationships are essential to the creation of engaging learning environments - in other words, pupils learn better when they feel physically and emotionally safe and supported by an adult. Volunteer mentors have time to be that adult for pupils across the school - in the classroom, the corridors, at break and lunchtimes and through the extra-curricular clubs that they run.

Creating a positive learning environment

Have your resume and references
A consistent presence

Volunteer mentors aren't just there when a pupil struggles with maths or English. They're the school super heroes, swooping in when friends can't sort out an argument or a child has no one to play with. They are someone pupils will remember - because they know each volunteer is there, just for them.

Create an account
Time to understand

Volunteer mentors have time to build trust and develop rapport with pupils - it means they reach an understanding of the individualised support that will help foster a child's strengths and overcome their particular challenges.

Find a place to focus
Trust and belonging

With their full view of pupils' experience, volunteer mentors work with the school to help create a welcoming environment where all pupils feel they belong, are engaged and want to learn.

“My School”

Let’s talk about City Year, the team in red in the morning,
Greet me with bagel and bread.
City Year is so convincing, ‘fired up’ is what they are shouting.
When you talk about City Year,
Except Friday, are always there.
They make learning fun – it’s a real blast,
Even if it’s history, and it’s about the past.
Perseverance means give it a go,
That’s what we’re told to know.
Respect, compassion are not new to me.
These are all core values in my community.

Year 4 Pupil

“I believe it was the small gestures like smiling whenever we crossed paths, asking how she was in the playground and playing ball games with her that built that relationship that I don’t think a teacher could develop as easily.”

Volunteer Mentor City Year UK
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