The KCL History Outreach Programme is an initiative developed and led by students, with support from Teach First, to support and mentor sixth form students from underprivileged backgrounds in schools across London.
I am currently working with the President of the KCL History Outreach Programme to organise the team for this year! We have a committee of about 8 people, (elected at the end of each academic year) and, most importantly, we have are our VOLUNTEERS. Any King’s student can volunteer to be part of the programme, regardless of whether you study history or not!
The volunteers actually go into the schools, once a fortnight and mentor sixth form students. The role is a mentoring one in which you provide tips you might have picked up whilst doing your A Levels, essay skills, revision tips and so on!
The majority of the year is spent putting on the mentoring programmes in schools, we also try to plan events that take students out of schools. Last year’s we held the very successful ‘Hands on History’ trip. Students were taken to the Florence Nightingale museum and afterward, taken to look through the King’s archives. Florence Nightingale is actually a King’s alumnus!
There are so many reasons I would urge King’s students to get involved with History Outreach.
1. Most importantly, the overwhelming thing about the programme is how rewarding it is. You can inspire the students you meet, but also, take inspiration from them.
Looking back at my personal experience of the programme, the most striking thing about it, is how rewarding it is. Being part of the programme gives you the opportunity to work closely with the same students over the course of the year, students not that dissimilar in age to you. You get to see first hand how your help and advice can help students grow and find their path!
2. This is something you can get involved with from your first year. We have a stall at fresher’s fair, and in fact, the majority of our volunteers tend to be first year students!
3. We receive lots of help from Teach First, so this is a great opportunity for anyone looking to get into teaching. However, even if teaching isn’t your goal, the skills you will gain from the training, as well as from being in the schools, would be hard to find elsewhere.
4. Whilst the society is about helping others, you will learn so much through the students you meet. This is also a great chance to learn from other volunteers and to meet like-minded people. We partner volunteers up so you will have someone you attend all your mentoring sessions with. Through this, you can bounce of each other’s ideas to make your mentoring sessions the best they can be!
5. Finally, the revision/ exam skills you hear from other volunteers may help you! We also plan regular socials so that you have a chance to meet all volunteers, not just those you are partnered with.
Given a few more years, there’s no telling how successful the programme could be. I know I am so excited to see how it grows and improves, with new ideas, and who knows, maybe you could be a part of this…