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Before students volunteer

This information helps teachers and leaders get ready for a student volunteer program.

Pre and post volunteering surveys

Measuring student wellbeing and learning engagement, before and after volunteering, can provide valuable background information. It can also be used to get a better sense of the impact of volunteering on students.

If you’re running a longer volunteer program, there are a range of measures you can use to survey students.

Wellbeing

The Survey of Wellbeing and Student Engagement measures student wellbeing and tracks how our children and young people feel about their school life, home life, themselves and their relationships with others.

Wellbeing, relationships and involvement in learning

These surveys were developed using the department’s flexible learning options student engagement matrix.

Character strengths

The VIA youth survey measures 24 character strengths.

Plan the involvement of outside volunteer organisations  

It can sometimes be hard to find suitable volunteer opportunities. Some organisations might not have enough space, equipment or staff to supervise projects for groups or individual students.

You can:

  • speak with your school about which community groups they’re already working with
  • talk to your local volunteer resource centre
  • get your students to use the Volunteering SA&NT WeDo app to find local groups who want volunteers
  • ask the local council about volunteer opportunities for young people, like local environmental or conservation groups.

You can use the schedule to plan involvement of volunteer organisations (Word 63KB) to record things like potential activities for students, schedule of activities, organisation contact details, etc.

Volunteer organisations will have their own policies that all volunteers, including students, must follow. One important example is work health and safety.

Get students involved in the set-up

Set up a group of students to get involved in the design and set-up of the volunteering program.

Make sure it's a diverse group and, if possible, includes students who are already volunteering (champions).

Have regular meetings with your student volunteer group to brainstorm ideas and refine your program as you go. Allow the students to lead the program. These templates can help:

Student choice flashcards

To help students discover what they’re passionate about you might like to use flashcards. You can use images that show different emotions or causes. You can use the example student choice flashcard (Word 1.5MB) as a starting point.

Using flashcards can help students think about how they want to help. For example, if a student chooses a flashcard of a beautiful lake, they might be interested in helping out with the environment.

Parent or caregiver permission and help

All Department for Education schools must get consent when organising volunteering activities for students.

Give enough information to make sure the parent or caregiver is aware of what’s involved.

Regular communication with families will make sure they feel involved. This helps them to support their child to participate more fully.

Send information home introducing the volunteering program. You can adapt the parent or caregiver letter and consent template (Word 908KB) to suit your needs.

Contact

Student volunteer program – we'd like to hear from you

If you found these student volunteer resources useful or have ideas for us, please get in contact.

Volunteers – Engagement and Wellbeing directorate

Phone: 8226 3795
Email: education.volunteers [at] sa.gov.au (subject: Student%20volunteer%20program%20feedback)