What is the Classroom Helper Program?
The Classroom Helpers’ Program is a program designed for teachers and parents to work together to assist children in the development of Reading, Writing and Numeracy skills.
How else can I get involved at NMPS?
We welcome parents, carers and family members to volunteer across many different areas of the school. This includes the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program, school camps, excursions and events and swimming. We are also very keen to have parents become ‘expert presenters’ in class.
How to become a classroom helper or volunteer?
Step 1: Organise your Working with Children Check Clearance (WWCC)
It is a requirement that all school volunteers have a valid Working with Children Clearance to work with students. The Working with Children Check (WWCC) is a screening process for assessing or re-assessing people who work with or care for children in Victoria. A volunteer WWCC can be obtained from the Working With Children Check website.
Step 2: Familiarise yourself with our School Policies
Following this, it is important for you to familiarise yourself with our Volunteer policy and the school’s Child Safe policies available on website’s Policies Page. It is paramount that all volunteers are aware of our policies and processes in place to keep our students safe.
· Volunteer Policy
Child Safe Policies:
· Child Safe and Wellbeing
· Child Safe Code of Conduct
· Child Safety Responding and Reporting Obligations Policy
You will be required to fill out a Volunteer Induction Form at the office on your first volunteer session to sign stating that you have read, understood, and agree to adhering to the above policies.
Step 3: Contact your child’s teacher
Please contact your child’s teacher if you are available to assist in the classroom or other school related activities. The teacher will schedule their classroom helpers at suitable times and will communicate this with you.
On the first time you visit the school to assist in the classroom, you will need to sign in at the front office through the Compass kiosk and present your WWCC and complete the Volunteer Induction Form.
Following your initial visit, each time you visit the school to assist in the classroom you will need to sign in and out at the front office, through the Compass kiosk. You will be given a visitors’ lanyard to display your WWCC which you are asked to wear for the duration of your visit.
Please note, we cannot accommodate younger siblings when volunteering in the classroom.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q) I have applied for my Working With Children Clearance but the processing time is a few weeks, can I start volunteering?
A) Yes, once you have applied for a WWCC you will be given an application receipt which you will need to present when you check-in at reception.
Q) Do I need to go through this process, if I am only helping on an excursion or camp?
A) Yes, North Melbourne Primary School requires all volunteers to have a valid Working with Children Clearance when working with students.
How do I know what to do?
At NMPS, we offer a training session for Classroom Helpers, which focuses on the roles you may undertake as a classroom helper. In addition to providing strategies for supporting children in the classroom. Classroom training sessions are held annually. This training is optional, however recommended in ensuring you feel comfortable to support within the school.
Teachers will always give you guidance on how they would like you to support the students in the class.
Strategies to use when volunteering in the classroom
The teacher will direct you to the activities you will be supporting, they may include:
- Reading- Home reading, small group activities (purposeful reading tasks), rhymes and chants, alphabet tasks.
- Writing- supporting writing with individuals or small groups of children
- Spelling- High frequency word activities or testing
- Look at the picture
- Check the Initial sounds and match with the picture
- Stretch it out
- Chunking (breaking the word into smaller parts)
- Look for smaller words in bigger words
- Check for meaning (Does it look right? Does it sound right? Does it make sense?)
- Make predictions based on the story, using evidence from the text to justify your ideas
- Make connections with prior knowledge or with other texts
- Retell the main events from the story
- Ask questions, including inferential questions which require students to use their prior knowledge
- Encourage students to show you evidence from the book
Supporting Early Writers:
- Draw and talk about your ideas first
- Record the initial or dominant sounds in each word
- Record known words
- Use M100W lists or the word wall
- Practise on a whiteboard
- Reread your writing aloud to check if it makes sense.
- Check for finger spaces and punctuation
Engage your child’s interests in literacy
- Read and discuss a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts, including newspapers (‘kidsnews’), digital texts (Reading Eggs/ Reading Eggspress), chapter books, picture storybooks, information texts etc.
- Develop instant recognition of a large number of high-frequency words
- Notice and use the punctuation to develop fluency when reading aloud
- Identify the main idea and use evidence from the text to justify
- Identify interesting words when reading, discuss their meaning and try to incorporate them into writing or everyday language
- Encourage children to write shorter pieces of writing, with a focus on rereading and editing to improve language, interest and meaning
Below are some of the materials students will use in the classroom:
- Icy pole sticks
- Ten frames
- Unifix blocks
- MAB (Year 2 onwards)
Making, Counting, Drawing and Talking Numbers:
Using classroom materials and games, provide plenty of opportunity for students to:
- Count collections/objects
- Make and draw collections
- Identify and record numbers in numerals and words.
- Language to use when talking numbers
Languages such as plus, minus, equals and their corresponding symbols (+, – , =) are not introduced until the later stages of Prep or Year 1.
Language to use Maths:
- Prep when counting
4 and 2 is 6
3 and 2 more make 5
6 is 3 and 3 more
2 and 2 is 4, and 1 more is 5
5 take away 3 is 2
4 teddies take away 2 teddies, how many are left?
How many teddies are there altogether?
3 teddies and 3 teddies more make how many altogether?
- Y1 onwards
2 + 2 What is the sum?
5 – 3 What is the difference?
- Years 3 -6
2 x 2 What is the product?
8 ÷ 2 What is the quotient?
Supporting students in 3-6:
- Play dice and card games to develop fluency with basic facts. Repetitive practise is key to developing fluency.
- Support strategies for mental computation using the partitioning of numbers. Avoid jumping to rote vertical algorithms too early.
- Involve children in shopping decisions including the calculations of costs and change.
- Look to discuss maths in the everyday environment – shapes, angles, symmetry, etc.
- Discuss, calculate and compare sporting results. Explore statistics and graphs.
- Let your children navigate travel journeys, read maps and estimate distance and duration.
- Encourage your children to read and interpret timetables when using public transport.
- Ask you, children, the time on analogue clocks using “minutes to” and “minutes past” language. Ask questions relating to 24-hour time and elapsed time.
- Discuss the weather and temperature including differences in min and max temperature, averages and negative numbers.
- Read recipes together with the discuss increasing and decreasing the scale of ingredients (halving and doubling).
- Complete tasks on Doodle Maths (Years 4 & 5 only).