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School's Refugee Homework Club is a Big Success
01 Feb 2024

Shrewsbury School volunteers have set up a successful 'Homework Club', which sees pupils working alongside refugee children to help with their studies

Shrewsbury School volunteers are celebrating the success of Homework Club, an initiative that welcomes refugee children to school so that pupils can assist with their studies. 

Head of Charities and Volunteering Naomi Pritchard explains how the idea came about: “Homework Club has been developed over the last four years through myself, Mr Giles Bell and Kariman Yakhoul (Shropshire Supports Refugees). It is a highly rewarding volunteering project for all guests and helpers alike. 

"In the early days, the club started to help refugee teenagers catch up with core subjects and more recently we have added English assistance for adults and learning through play for the primary years.  All of the Shrewsbury School students who help with this project are highly committed and positive in their approach and are making a huge difference to many youngsters and adults in our local area.  There is no doubt that this club is the highlight of the week for many of us that attend.”

Homework club in action
Shrewsbury School Homework Club in action

Grace S (G, LVI), a pupil volunteer at Homework Club, has enjoyed helping within the group and writes about it here:

"Homework Club, organised by both teachers and students at Shrewsbury School, is a committed endeavour aimed at assisting refugee children across various year groups in local state schools, as well as their mothers who are preparing for English exams. Our sessions, conducted in classrooms within the Main School Building, typically last for one hour on Thursday afternoons during the school  term. 

"The primary objective of Homework Club is to enhance the comprehensive language abilities of local refugee children and their mothers, focusing particularly on oral and written English. Through academic support, we strive to improve their overall academic performance, boost their confidence and facilitate their integration into the local community, all while fostering a positive and fun learning environment. 

Homework club 2

"I have been involved in Homework Club since last Michaelmas term. During this time, my main responsibility has been assisting a young boy in preparing for his GCSE physics mock exam. I shared my personal revision experiences and introduced effective techniques such as utilising flashcards, practising with past papers and exploring online learning websites. Together, we meticulously analysed past papers, delving into answer strategies and formats that could contribute to higher marks. Additionally, we noted common mistakes to aid his post-club revision.

"Homework club provides a nurturing and supportive atmosphere, with teachers and student volunteers offering encouragement and recognition. Witnessing the continuous progress of the students, especially the young boy I’ve been helping with, is truly heartening. Each encounter reveals a growing determination, increased effort and unwavering persistence in his eyes. This experience has not only provided me with valuable insights into the dynamics of teaching and learning in education, but also has underscored the profound significance of volunteering at Homework Club. It provides a platform for me to impart my knowledge I have possessed and to support others academically. 

"Whether it involves alleviating academic pressures or simply being a source of encouragement, I find the experience very rewarding. I take great pleasure in motivating individuals to discover their passions, to cultivate a love for learning, and to evolve into their best selves."