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  • Writer's pictureAggie at Jacari

Guest blog: Teach First

Updated: Feb 8, 2023

We are delighted to be working closely with Teach First who have been supporting Jacari for a number of years. This year they have funded workbooks for volunteers to use with their pupils in their first few sessions. They are also running teaching skills workshops for our volunteers.

Our guest blog is written by Emily Godbold, the Teach First recruiter for Oxford and Bristol, who tells us about who Teach First are, the work they do, and why they are so pleased to be supporting Jacari this year.

Who are Teach First?

Teach First are a charity fighting to make our education system work for every child. Too many young people in the UK aren’t fulfilling their potential at school, and we strongly believe that we should, and can, do better.

Pupils from poor backgrounds are less likely to succeed in the classroom and less likely to go on to university or well-paid jobs. The cycle continues from generation to generation, widening social inequality, and this is a cycle we’re determined to help break.

Our challenge is to build an education system in which all young people thrive, regardless of their background. Schools in low-income areas are already doing a brilliant job in tough circumstances. We want to support them to keep improving and overcome the barriers they face.

What do Teach First do?

At the heart of this work is our two-year graduate Training Programme, which develops the inspiring teachers and leaders who will make change happen from within the classroom and beyond.

Our salaried Training Programme gives graduates the opportunity to make an immediate impact where it’s most needed, whilst working towards a fully funded and internationally recognised teaching qualification. We offer extensive support that enables rapid progression and development, as well as access to our 15,000-strong network of teachers, leaders, and businesses.

We also run two-day Taster Programmes for students in first, second or penultimate year of study which offer fantastic opportunities to upskill and gain an insight into teaching.

Why are Teach First proud to support Jacari?

Like Jacari, Teach First are determined to build a society where young people from all backgrounds can achieve their full potential. Ensuring that children who have English as an additional language feel supported, confident, and empowered is essential to this mission, which is why we are delighted to be supporting Jacari.

We also believe that Jacari volunteers would make fantastic future teachers and leaders.

Volunteering whilst at university puts students in a great position to showcase the competencies we are looking for in our Training Programme application process, such as resilience, planning and organising, and problem-solving.

Anson Wong told us how the skills she learnt as a Jacari volunteer are such a good fit with the Teach First training programme. "As a Jacari volunteer, I developed the skill of explaining a knowledge point in a way more easily comprehensible by my pupil. For example, deconstructing a word into its phonemes to help my pupil say the word with gradually fading scaffolds. This skill is transferrable to my teacher training programme, which emphasises managing cognitive load of novice learners. I now appreciate more the expert-novice knowledge gap and the importance of planning from pupils’ perspectives."

Teaching skills workshops

In addition to supporting the fantastic workbooks used during tuition sessions, we hope to optimise the volunteer experience even further by extending exclusive skills training to Jacari members, with our next Planning and Organising workshop taking place virtually on Wednesday 1st March, 5.30-6.30pm. Volunteers can sign up here to secure a place.

Applications are still open for our 2023 Training Programme, but subjects and locations will close as they fill, so don’t hesitate in starting your application to join our most important cohort yet.

Please feel free to reach out to Emily via email ( if you have any questions or would like an informal chat.

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