Putting Pen to Paper offers a unique creative writing experience for children aged 7 to 11, whether they want to write more out of school or struggle to get ideas out of their heads and words onto paper. We celebrate the effort each child makes with Literacy, as much as an achievement, in an environment that is fun, colourful, slightly bonkers and hands-on.
Our classes are always full and for those KS2 children who began with us and who moved onto secondary school, we have created a role for those who wish to return as KS3 pupils to learn how to become Mentors. This system has many positives and is working very well.
We have always been lucky enough to attract college and sixth form students who wish to work as Volunteers, whether as part of their Duke of Edinburgh or just because they enjoy community work. Volunteers can help by working with one specific table in our four-table set-up or by working on a one-to-one basis with a child.
More recently we have established different work stations on each table, offering children specific tasks and there would be scope for coming in as a Volunteer and running a table which has a Literacy slant with a Volunteer’s twist.
Volunteers are expected to talk through children’s ideas with them, help to get their ideas down on paper, assist with spelling and the reading out of work, as well as running class writing and drawing competitions when they are deemed necessary. Volunteers are also expected to help either with the set-up or break-down of the room before and after each session, mounting or dismantling wall displays, laying out or collecting books, reading and writing materials, pens and papers on tables, and to make sure that the floor is tidy before departure.
At times we work on word banks where it is necessary for the children to ‘feel’ prepared material in bowls, the contents of which are hidden, for example when we ran a Roald Dahl theme and the children were making their own marvellous medicine they first had to undertake a 'blind feel' test of such substances as jelly, semolina pudding, baked beans and wood chippings, then make their own mixes and describe how they had made their medicine. Be warned: it can get messy!
We aim to have two college students during any one session which also allows for cover during sickness or breaks for study leave, speaking of which, we are very flexible when extra study time is required to manage college/sixth form coursework or around exam times.
*Covid-friendly role - measures have been taken to limit class numbers so that social distancing is practiced*
- Age restrictions
The spirit of Putting Pen to Paper is children and young adults. Young adult volunteers means we can provide some cover and encouragement for the older children looking to fulfill Duke of Edinburgh volunteering requirements.
- DBS check required
If the applicant doesn’t have one, arrangements can be made through PP2P.
- Equal Opportunities Policy
- Expenses reimbursed
Expenses are reimbursed provided prior agreement has been obtained for such items as art, writing or wall display items the Volunteer has deemed useful or necessary.
- Health and Safety Policy
- Ongoing support
Each session is reviewed with feedback encouraged from all volunteers. There is also a 6-monthly formal review.
- Training provided
- Volunteer induction
- Volunteer Policy
- Volunteers covered by insurance
- Written role description
When can I volunteer?
Course 38: February 27, March 6,13,20 (double session) and 27; Course 39: April 24, May 1, 8, 15, 22 (double session) and; Course 40: June 12, 19, 25 and July 3 and 10 (double session)
Hampshire Children's Services
New Forest Mencap
Havant Keystone Service
Hythe Pier Heritage Association
Winchester and District Young Carers