Wednesday, March 8, 2017


Homework/Learning Centres
Volunteer Tutoring

2017 is our 12th consecutive year!

Waratah Technology Campus

School Term 1:  Mon. 30 Jan. - Fri. 7 Apr.

Volunteer Vacancies (as at 8/3/17):
  • Jesmond Primary School (Tue. 3:00-4:30pm) - need 2 more volunteers
  • Heaton Primary School (Wed. 3:00-4:30pm) - need approx. 10 volunteers to commence Term 2 (Wed. 26 Apr.)
  • Jesmond Senior Campus (Wed. 1:30-3:00pm) - need 1 more volunteer
  • All other Centres/Groups are currently FULL.  Let me know if you wish to go the waiting list.

Scroll down to see more details...

Jesmond Primary School

How To Apply...

Please contact me by email if you wish to apply to do volunteer tutoring for Terms 1 & 2, or go on a waiting list.  I will need to know the following information:
  1. Your preference of which Homework Centre/Study Group.  (If your preferences are full, you will be given the option of going on the waiting list.)
  2. Your ability to commit to regular weekly attendance for Terms 1 & 2 (ie. roughly the same as university Semester 1, however, note that Homework Centre/Study Group start from mid-Feb).  If you are away on holidays now, let me know when you are available to start.
  3. Your experience, skills, qualifications, current study, etc. relevant to tutoring school students with low English proficiency, and/or working with refugees/migrants.
Important!  The success of the Homework Centre program depends on a regular weekly commitment from both volunteers and school students, so you will need to be certain of your timetable/availability before applying to volunteer.  It is also strongly advised that volunteers have their own car and not rely on public transport, bicycle, etc.  As always, we would like to increase the number of male tutors.

Homework Centre volunteering is also be promoted through our University of Newcastle partners iLEAD Plus and Teach Outreach, as your volunteering hours can assist you to achieve points/certification for those programs.  We are promoting via the CareerHub service as well.  If you are registered with these programs/services, you will still need to send your volunteering application to me by email, as described above.

San Clemente High School

Note: All NSS Homework Centre/Study Group volunteer positions require the volunteer to have the following two clearances prior to commencing the volunteer work:

National Police Check - This application form is included with the NSS volunteer registration paperwork. NSS will process your application, free of charge.

Working With Children Check - The NSW Government implemented a new Working With Children Check system on 15th June 2013, whereby the applicant must apply for their own check/clearance online. This process is free for volunteers. Once your application has been processed and you receive your clearance letter, you then provide your WWCC Number to NSS for verificationPlease visit: New Working With Children Check website.

Thank you.

Michael Freund
Project Manager (Homework Centres) &
Volunteers Co-ordinator (Educational Programs)
Phone: 02 4969 3399

Islington Primary School

Islington Primary School

Homework/Learning Centres - Partner Schools...
(approx. 10 - 15 volunteers at each centre)

Islington Primary School
(corner Hubbard & Chinchen Streets, Islington)
Mondays 3:15 - 4:45pm
Assisting K-Yr.6 Islington PS students only

Jesmond Primary School
(corner Ralph & William Streets, Jesmond)
Tuesdays 3:00-4:30pm
Assisting K-Yr.6 Jesmond PS students only

*** New for 2017, starting Term 2 ***
Heaton Primary School
(Janet Street, Jesmond)
Wednesdays 3:00 - 4:30pm
Assisting K-Yr.6 Heaton PS students only

Waratah Technology Campus
(Turton Road, Waratah)
Thursdays 3:00 - 4:30pm
Assisting Yr.7-10 Waratah TC students only

(Note: Our long-running program at San Clemente High School (2008-2016) has now finished up, as the school no longer has enough recently-arrived students. We sincerely thank San Clemente staff & students over this time for an extremely successful partnership.)

Senior Study Groups
(approx. 4 - 8 volunteers at each group)

Jesmond Senior Campus
(Janet Street, Jesmond)
Wednesdays 1:30 - 3:00pm
Assisting Yr.11-12 JSC students only

St. Francis Xavier’s College
(Hebburn Street, Hamilton East)
Wednesdays 3:15 - 4:30pm
Assisting Yr.11-12 SFX students only

Waratah Technology Campus

San Clemente High School

Homework Centres - Further Information...

History & Purpose
Since 2006, NSS has operated various Homework Centres in partnership with local primary & secondary schools that have high student enrolments from recently-arrived refugee & migrant families (our target clients).  The purpose of our Homework Centres is to assist these students to develop their English literacy skills and to complete homework & assignment tasks in a range of school subjects, thus contributing to their achievement of educational milestones at an equitable level with the mainstream community.  Previous NSS Homework Centres include: Hamilton PS (2006-2014); St. Pius HS (2009-2014); San Clemente HS (2008-2016).

Staff & Operation
A Project Manager is responsible for the overall operation of the Homework Centres, including the promotion, recruitment & administration of the large annual intake of volunteers.  A part-time Co-ordinator at each centre manages the students & volunteer tutors, and liaises with the Project Manager and ESL Teacher.  Each centre operates one afternoon per week during school terms, and there is no charge for the students who use this service.  We aim to provide one-to-one or small group volunteer tutoring assistance for the students, in a classroom or library setting.  Each centre has an enrolment limit (10 - 15 students) so that the high quality of support can be maintained.  On Wednesdays, smaller Study Groups operate at the two senior high schools.

All volunteer tutors are registered by NSS, which includes a federal Police Check and Working With Children Check, and are provided with ESL resources and induction into the program.  Volunteers need to have good skills in English and other school subjects, but they will not be asked to tutor in subjects they are not familiar with.  Experience with teaching/tutoring is definitely an advantage, and further volunteer training is provided as needed.  Volunteers are asked to commit to regular weekly attendance for at least one semester (ie. two school terms).  Apart from these requirements, the other main volunteer attributes include: patience, persistence, cultural awareness, ability to communicate & encourage, sense of humour/fun, and additionally for the high schools: internet research skills and familiarity with curriculum/assessment task process.  At the start of each school term a volunteers’ feedback & planning meeting is held, where volunteers can contribute ideas to improve the centre's operation, and the main goals for the term will be defined.

Linking with Schools/Teachers/Parents
ESL Teachers are invited to refer suitable students to Homework Centre by completing a Referral Form for each student and returning it to the Co-ordinator.  Students may enrol at the start of a new term, assuming there are sufficient volunteer resources.  Students/Parents will be notified when enrolment is available, as parents will firstly need to complete a Parent Permission Form.  Student progress is recorded each week by volunteers, enabling the Co-ordinator to provide the teacher with half-yearly & yearly progress reports on each student.  A parent information/interview session is organised for each centre, usually at the half-yearly point.

Project Funding
The Department of Immigration & Citizenship began funding NSS Homework Centres in 2009, under their Settlement Grants Program.  In Nov. 2013, SGP became the responsibility of the newly created Department of Social Services.  NSS is also extremely grateful to Newcastle Registered Clubs (through the ClubGRANTS community funding) for their continued support of our Homework Centres.

Jesmond Primary School