West London Humanists and Secularists

School Volunteers

This is an extract from the BHA Website: https://humanism.org.uk/schoolvolunteers/

Humanist volunteers for schools - how you can get involved
We are training BHA members who want to work with teachers to have a meaningful impact on the education of young people and increase students' understanding of Humanism, and with the help of local humanist groups we are rolling out the course across the country. If you would like to train to volunteer in schools please check our upcoming events to see if there is a course in your area.

About the BHA and our work in education
Humanism is a non-religious approach to life, which the Government recommend be studied in schools as an example of a secular philosophy. In practice, this most often happens in Religious Education lessons where pupils are also learning about some religious approaches to life, but can also happen across all areas of the school.

The BHA supports spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development* of pupils and believes that schools should develop their pupils' thinking skills through teaching critical thinking and philosophy. The BHA supports a broad and balanced education for all young people, and recognises the importance of SMSC development of pupils as crucial for individual pupils for society as a whole. We feel that schools should provide opportunities for non-religious 'spiritual development, the development of curiosity, thinking skills and creativity, and that 'values education' should be part of Citizenship Education, Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE), and Sex and Relationships Education (SRE).

Why volunteer?
All National Curriculum subjects provide opportunities to promote pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and BHA school volunteers can contribute to this development in primary and secondary schools by increasing the level of awareness and understanding about Humanism.

Have you ever:

  • Wished that you could make a difference to someone's life?
  • Considered the importance of making sure young people understand the world they live in more fully and the range of belief and value systems that enable us to live together in harmony?
  • Thought about how you could use your knowledge and your life experience to help young people learn about Humanism?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes then you could make a successful volunteer as part of the BHA's School Volunteer Programme.

Teachers are very committed to preparing their pupils for the challenges adult life brings and that includes the need to develop their understanding of the way in which different people and groups make sense of their lives and the world around them. However, teachers would be the first to admit that they are not always experts in every area of life.

This is where BHA School Volunteers can really add value to the classroom. With your life experience and knowledge you can help to bring an added dimension to the classroom in helping children and young people think about issues from a different perspective and to help them to develop spiritually, morally, socially and culturally.

*As defined in Promoting and evaluating pupils' spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (Ofsted, 2004 Document reference number HMI 2125) Spiritual development is the development of the non-material development of a human being which animates and sustains us and, depending on our point of view, either ends or continues in some form when we die. It is about the development of a sense of identity, self-worth, personal insight, meaning and purpose. It is about the development of a pupil's spirit. Some people may call it the development of a pupil's 'soul', others as the development of 'personality' or 'character'.