Van Mildert Primary School Project
The Van Mildert Primary School project currently consists of 29 enthusiastic volunteers who visit five local Durham schools each week (St Hild’s, Framwellgate Moor, St Patrick’s in Langley More, Blue Coat and Finchale). The project has assisted most of the schools for the last few years however, we expanded to St Patrick’s back in June and we have so far received excellent feedback.
Volunteers are selected for their commitment, organisation and interest for working with children. Around half of the volunteers are teaching assistants and visit the schools during a morning or afternoon to help out around the classroom or work with small groups of children on a particular topic. Many students also run clubs in pairs or groups of three. Our most popular after-school activities include Nature, Arts and Crafts and Cookery club. The clubs, which are supplied for free, have been particularly well-received by the schools as children are given the opportunity to be creative and explore areas which may not be available on the curriculum.
Fundraising has, of course, been absolutely central to the project. I am extremely pleased to say that we have so far raised over £1700 this year thanks to two successful bag packing events at Sainsbury’s and Tesco. These events also gave us the opportunity to inform members of the public about what we do as it is important to raise awareness beyond the boundaries of the university. Further to this, we also held a bar quiz in November which proved to be a light hearted way of raising money and boosting recognition of the project in college.
Another particularly exciting event was the Christmas party for college staff’s children which we held in collaboration with SCR. A range of activities such as pass the parcel, arts and crafts, musical statues and even a visit from Father Christmas himself made the day extremely enjoyable for parents and children alike. Plenty of volunteers were also on hand to help out and set up for what was a very successful day.
Nicole Banks, Project Leader
PSP was one of the best things I did while at Durham, I gained so many skills from being in a classroom and being on exec, and got to get experience as both a teaching assistant and running an after school club. I learnt so much from the kids I spent time with, and by the end of the year it was just so hard to say goodbye!Ellie Brown, PSP Volunteer