Top tips


For teachers

Which children should I select for a programme?

Any child in Years 1 to 3, who is at risk of not meeting the expected standard for reading. You have the freedom to choose which child is best suited, given that volunteers receive training in safeguarding, engaging reluctant readers, an introduction to managing behaviour and an introduction to phonics.

Supporting your volunteers for the best possible start

On the School Hub dashboard, you can see the volunteer reading session preferences in your area. This is a clear indication of times that volunteers are more likely to be available to read at your school.   

When creating a programme, you can tick ‘auto-roll programme forward’ to ensure any programmes not taken up that week are available for volunteers in the area to accept in the following week. 

It is helpful to fill in some extra information in the notes section for ‘Reasons for reading programme’ to ensure the volunteer has the best understanding of the child they will be reading with. For example: “Loves books about football.”

Inputting the correct class teacher email address for each child is a great way to allow direct and useful communication between the volunteer and yourself.    

Book in early! To ensure the best uptake of reading programmes, publish them as soon as you are able to.  

When publishing a reading programme on the School Hub, share it with all volunteers to increase the chances of reading programmes being taken up.

Your weekly report

Checking the Bookmark weekly report sent to you on a Friday afternoon will ensure you are aware of Bookmark volunteers’ activity in your class for the week ahead.  

After checking your weekly report, you can make any changes (cancellations or amends to reading sessions) on the School Hub, if necessary. This is a great tool for those last-minute school trips, activities or an unexpected child illness that will prevent a reading session from taking place. 

Look out for highlighted names. The report will show whether it is the volunteer’s first time reading with that child - you can introduce them before their session.  

For the school reception

Weekly reports

Remember to check the weekly report that is sent by email, every Friday afternoon. This is a helpful way of planning the week ahead, by showing which volunteers are scheduled to arrive in school on each day.

Note: the volunteer’s name will be highlighted when it is their first visit to your school. This is a friendly reminder of who will need an appropriate induction and guidance on where to find the right class.

DBS check

Bookmark Volunteer’s will all be given a lanyard, which will have their DBS number on the back.