Support young people through York Students in Schools –  Speech and Language Placements

York Students in Schools is an award winning scheme which was first set up by students in 1994.  Each year, approximately 600 students participate in the scheme and the university partners with around 40 schools and nurseries across York.  Volunteers come from a variety of different departments and offer around 16,000 hours of their time a year – a huge contribution to the City of York!

YSIS facilitates a range of placement types each year, one of which is Speech and Language Assistants. Following requests from local schools and nurseries, Speech and Language Assistants support schools to assess pupils’ speech and language communication skills,  helping to identify which pupils might need additional support. Students are trained by a City of York Council Speech and Language Therapist on how to conduct ‘WellComm’ Assessments and are placed with a class, either reception or nursery, for half a day a week, across 10 weeks.

Aimee, a third year Psychology in Education student, was one of our fantastic Speech and Language Assistants, and shares their experience:

“As a Speech and Language Assistant, I conducted pre-tests, WellComm interventions, and post-tests to examine whether children who were working below their age group for typical speech or language development had improved from the intervention activities I carried out over the term.

Volunteering as a Speech and Language Assistant helped to enhance my communication skills, as I had to adapt from verbal communication to using visual cues and use a variety of different techniques to teach them the mechanics of saying certain words.  Working with children who have difficulty with communicating also requires patience as they need more time to process your question and understand what they are being asked, this placement helped me to enhance this. 

The highlight of my placement was definitely the last session, where I conducted post-tests to see whether the children I had been working with had improved in the Wellcomm assessment.  After seeing that every single child had improved, even marginally, it gave me a real sense of accomplishment and made me feel like I had made a difference to their lives. 

I would definitely recommend volunteering for YSIS. There are so many different roles you can undertake. I have completed 2 different placements with YSIS now and it has helped me solidify my career aspirations.”

Like Aimee, there are many fantastic students that volunteer each year to make a difference to the lives of young people in York.  If you would like to join the growing number of YSIS volunteers, applications for placements starting in Semester 1 are open now!  You could volunteer to support English as an Additional language, Speech and Language or as a Classroom Assistant. 

To find out more, and to apply, please visit Handshake

Applications for Semester 1 will be closing 15th May, 8am.