Westminster, Greater London
Wandsworth, Greater London
Camden Town, Greater London
Job description

Could you inspire a child? We’re on a mission to help every child to read and want you to join us in providing dedicated one-to-one reading support to children who need it most.

For many people, not having enough time in their schedules is a barrier to volunteering. Our Bookmark mobile app and flexible 6 week programmes provide an easy way to organise reading sessions at nearby schools, at times that work for you. 

Our six-week reading programme consists of two 30-minute sessions each week at a local primary school, with a child who needs extra support with their reading, through sharing books, conversation, and word games and activities.

More than 1 in 4 children leave primary school in England each year unable to read to the expected standard. These children often struggle for the rest of their lives.

This is a chance to positively impact a child’s future, receive training and learn new skills to build on your personal and professional development.  For the children who need us, you can help change their narrative.



Reading sessions consist of; reading the child’s colour banded (classroom) book, reading of the child’s choice, to help them establish their ‘reader identity’, and word games and activities.

You will:

  • Deliver a structured reading programme designed by Bookmark in collaboration with schools
  • Adapt your reading sessions to the needs of each child
  • Help children to choose new books, talk to them about the books they have read and encourage them to share their views and ideas
  • Help children feel successful by giving positive feedback and support
  • Collect data for impact reporting at the beginning and end of your six-week programme, to help ensure that our programmes are effective
  • Contribute to the development of Bookmark’s services by providing feedback, through surveys and/or think tank sessions
  • Follow Bookmark’s clear safeguarding procedures; to promote the wellbeing and welfare of children you are reading with


Skills needed: 

  • Fluency in English and a competent reader
  • Passion for literacy
  • Excellent communication and listening skills
  • Ability to use own initiative and creativity
  • A trustworthy and friendly manner
  • Punctual and reliable
  • Enthusiastic disposition
  • Ability to collaborate
  • Patience and the ability to work at a child’s pace

Note: no previous experience of volunteering or working with children, teacher training or teaching qualifications are required for this role



Bookmark provides a combination of online and face to face training, which is designed to give volunteers the confidence and knowledge to effectively support a child’s attitude to reading and literacy levels through shared reading. In addition, we ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of both the volunteer and children they read with.

Bookmark’s training involves an online safeguarding course (1hr) and a face-to-face (3hr max) session where you will cover:

  • Health, safety and wellbeing
  • First day volunteering
  • Helping a child find the right book
  • Navigating a book together
  • Engaging reluctant readers
  • Behaviour management
  • The basics of phonics

We look forward to hearing from you.


Posted on: 11 April 2019
Closed date: 09 July 2019
Tags: Volunteer Management, Teaching