At St Pauls Nursery and Children’s Centre we aim to ensure a high quality placement experience for students and volunteers.


We believe that at St. Paul’s Nursery School and Children’s Centre offering quality placements is dependent on developing positive relationships and meeting individual needs.

We value students and volunteer’s previous learning and support all to gain professional experience and feel confident to take next steps.

We aim to ensure that students and volunteers feel contained and supported throughout the process as this learning experience will develop their life skills for work.


  • To develop higher levels of economic wellbeing within our community by empowering students and volunteers to learn, develop and seek further education or work.
  • To increase the number of community members accessing training and work experience.
  • To increase opportunities for community members to engage in voluntary work and gain a volunteers qualification.
  • To develop opportunities to share new learning and deepen our understanding of our community.
  • We aim to recognise that we are all learners together and to remove barriers to promote reflective thinking.
  • To improve outcomes for children and families through having students and volunteers working at St Pauls Nursery and Children’s Centre contributing their skills, providing a fresh perspective and by expanding reflective practice.
  • We aim for children, families, students and adults to feel safe and secure while collaborating and experiencing positive interactions with a diverse group of young people and adults.
  • We aim for staff to feel confident and proud to share their outstanding practice and champion the centre.

Our Commitment

To develop our working partnerships and reciprocal collaborative learning model.

We recognise that this is a two way learning process and welcome students and volunteers’ contribution, reflective thinking and feedback. We will gain from their involvement in a variety of capacities alongside the staff teams. We are mindful that we are contributing to growing practitioners and leaders of the future through development as an Early Years Teaching School.

  • The centre will review suitability of applicants and capacity to offer placements.
  • Priority will be given to parents of children under five who live in our reach area,
  • Students and volunteers may either be referred to us through their place of study, be invited by the senior leadership team or offer their time independently.
  • DBS certificates will be required. Student volunteers under 16 years old are covered by our risk assessment
  • We will interview, contact two referees and get a medical reference if applicable for volunteers.
  • An initial meeting will be arranged to discuss aims and values, the purpose of the placement, expectations and support including a learning walk around the nursery school and children’s centre.

Setting will commit to

  • Student/Volunteer placement agreement forms will be completed.
  • Contact details will be exchanged and any communication and medical issues discussed.
  • Students and volunteer’s details and attendance will be recorded and held in the volunteer file.
  • Students and volunteers will be given a mentor/supervisor to support them while they are with us, where possible the needs of the volunteer will be matched with the level of qualification of staff.
  • Where possible no member of staff will be responsible for more than one student or volunteer at a time except for ITT.
  • As near to the first day as possible there will be an induction meeting including safeguarding, welfare and health and safety policies.
  • Student and volunteer DBS registration numbers will be logged.

 Volunteer’s and students rights

  • Volunteers will receive ‘introduction to volunteering’ 7 week training course.
  • Volunteers will be given a mentor to match the role who will provide support.
  • Volunteers are entitled to an induction covering safeguarding and health and safety.
  • Volunteers and students are covered under our employer and public health liability insurance.

 Volunteers and students will commit to

  • Students and volunteers will have a DBS certificate if appropriate or will be covered by our risk assessment- see attached
  • Students and volunteers will read our induction pack and seek clarification of understanding with bilingual support as appropriate.
  • Agree to policies and procedures including safeguarding and welfare.
  • Sign our confidentiality agreement and the Bristol City Council disclosures form.
  • Adhere to out dress code.
  • Be given clear direction and instructions regarding expectations, role and behaviour.
  • Inform the office if they are not attending. (Before 8am if possible).
  • Keep contact details up to date.
  • Keep to agreed times
  • Sign in and out
  • Be involved in evaluation of their placement
  • Possibly contribute to a learning story, which evidences the impact the placement has had on their personal/professional development.
  • Students and volunteers will never be left in sole charge of individual or groups of children.
  • Students and volunteers may be invited to join staff meetings or training at the discretion of the SLT.
  • Students will record their hours, which may need to be verified by a member of staff.
  • Meetings will be arranged for supervisor visits, supervision, reflection, support, planning and feedback as appropriate.
  • When the placement ends there will be a meeting to evaluate the experience, discuss any reflections, feedback and fill in an evaluation form.

Further information

South West Child Protection Procedures – online information