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York Students in Schools

York Students in Schools connects students from the University of York with local schools, to help make a difference to the lives of young people in York. Students support teaching and learning through a wide range of placements and projects, from nursery to college levels.

The scheme is open to all students and helps to build skills and provide valuable work experience for any future career. 


In Summer Term we will be hosting a series of 8 workshops exploring different areas of teaching, delivered by local educational experts. Visit our YSIS Plus page to find out more. 

Placement Opportunities

There are lots of different roles you can get involved in each term. Here are a few of our regular opportunities:

Classroom Assistants

Volunteers will assist teachers with various classroom activities, helping to support pupils and encourage learning. This could be with a specific subject, assistance with 1:1 reading, supporting a pupil with special educational needs or just an extra pair of hands to help. Our Classroom Assistant volunteers will need to commit to supporting a school for half a day a week, across 8 weeks of a term. 

Applications are open in Weeks 1-4 of each term for placements in the following term.


Speech and Language Assistants

Schools and nurseries have asked us for support in assessing where pupils are with their speech and language communication skills, to allow them to plan ways to provide additional support where it is most needed. You will be placed with a class, either reception or nursery and visit for half a day a week for 8 weeks. You will be trained by a City of York Council Speech and Language Therapist in how to conduct 'WellComm' Assessments. In the classroom you will work with individual pupils to conduct assessments each week and support activities in the classroom around the children's needs.  

Applications are open in Weeks 1-4 of each term for placements in the following term. 

Fun With Numbers Assistants

Fun With Numbers is a new placement opportunity with York Students in Schools, in partnership with the Numerical Cognition Lab and York Cares. It aims to reduce the anxiety that many children experience towards the subject of Mathematics by making maths and numbers fun and engaging. We place volunteers in local primary schools for half a day per week over 8 weeks where they lead fun maths-related games and activities for small groups of 1-3 children. This individual interaction with role model student volunteers should not only improve children’s confidence and engagement in maths but also enhance their social development. 

 Applications are open in Weeks 1-4 of each term for placements in the following term.

EAL Support Assistants

EAL Support Assistant placements are designed in conjunction with the Centre for Global Programmes. These placements will allow you to support pupils of all ages who have arrived at school speaking very little English. You will receive training on how to develop their English and there is no requirement for you to speak another language to complete the placement. 

Applications are open in Weeks 1-4 of each term for placements in the following term.

 Speak another language? Language support volunteers help pupils by offering translation support or sharing their culture with a class activity. Sign up to our language support register to be contacted throughout the year when opportunities arise. 


Coaches for the Mathematical Excellence Club

The York Mathematical Excellence Club (y = mx + c) brings together willing and able young people from across the City of York for a series of fun and interactive extra-curricular maths workshops. Pupils from Year 8 and Year 9 work in small teams on challenging maths problems that aren’t in the curriculum, such as encryption and fallacies, up to A Level standard. The club is looking for volunteers with a love and strong knowledge of maths to help coach these budding mathematicians, at evening events held throughout the academic year at the University.

Applications for Mathematical Excellence Club coaches in 2022-23 have now closed. 


GCSE Maths and English Tutors

Every year secondary schools in York are looking for volunteers to help reduce the attainment gap at their school by offering in-person tutoring sessions to 2 pupils on a 2:1 basis for up to 8 weeks in Spring Term. These sessions will be delivered to pupils who would otherwise be unable to access the support. Volunteers will be provided with full training in the English and Maths curriculum, and will use their strong subject knowledge to help these pupils achieve their potential and gain confidence in their academic studies. 

Applications for Spring Term 2023 placements have now closed. 


Block Placements

This is a full time placement available at the end of Spring Term and Summer Term. You will have the opportunity to observe a wide variety of teaching styles and age groups, as well as the option to teach a lesson in the second week of your placement if appropriate. You will have dedicated time during the day to complete a reflective log to highlight the skills and knowledge that you have gained during the placement and how you have used this to the benefit of the pupils. You will receive specific Block Placement training covering topics such as effective teaching and strategies for good behaviour management.

Applications for Summer Term 2023 Block Placements will be open in Week 5 - Week 8 of Spring Term. 

Please note that this opportunity is not available to students on a Student visa due to restrictions on volunteering/working hours. 

How do I apply?

Applications for Semester 1 Placements will open at the start of Summer Term.

Volunteer resources

Safeguarding: details on how YSIS promotes effective safeguarding, including information about completing DBS checks. 

Travel: if your school is not within walking distance of campus, we are able to provide pre-paid bus tickets or refund your travel expenses.

Rights and Responsibilities: What you can expect from us and what we expect from you as a University of York student volunteer. 

About York Students in Schools

York Students in Schools is an award winning scheme which was first set up by students in 1994. Each year, we work with around 50 schools at all levels and on average 700 students a year participate in the scheme, from a full range of departments and levels of study. This equates to around 21,000 hours of time. 

The programme is delivered by the Volunteering Team in Careers and Placements. The key staff contacts are: 

Leanne Shaw: Volunteer Project Officer

Georgette Pooley: Volunteering Assistant

Contact us at