Vauxhall Primary School is a smaller than the average-size primary school. Most pupils are from a range of minority ethnic groups and almost three quarters of pupils speak English as an additional language. Over half of the pupils are known to be eligible for the pupil premium, which is higher than average. The school has a wonderful community spirit and pupil attainment results exceed the national average.
The London Employee Volunteering team has been working with the school for several years. Initially support came from numerous team volunteers. For several years Volunteering Matters has been running a vibrant reading scheme for pupils at the school. Children are selected by need and receive reading support from a volunteer once a week.
The impact on the pupils is noticeable. Natalie Grahams, English Subject Leader at the school, says: “The work that the reading volunteers do is valued very highly at Vauxhall Primary. With such a high level of need, linguistically as well as socially and emotionally, amongst our pupils, time spent 1-2-1 with an adult reading and discussing books can be extremely beneficial. We see the pupils who have a dedicated reading volunteer grow in confidence, not just in their reading but in their overall class participation. The volunteers are role models that our pupils can look up to and learn from. With the increasing amount of pressure on our timetables, this extra 1-2-1 reading would not happen without our reading volunteers.”