Friday Night School, a tutoring program which partners Melbourne secondary school students with migrant and refugee students from non-English speaking backgrounds, has been running each Friday afternoon in term time for twenty-five years. Five Siena students in Years 11 and 12 have commenced volunteering in this program as tutors. Our students have been partnered with students from Prep to Grade 6 and will continue working with the same students each week. The young people attending Friday Night School come predominately from Pakistan, East Timor, Sudan, Ethiopia and Vietnam. The type of tutoring offered depends on the student’s age but generally involves working through activities aimed at improving student literacy and numeracy skills or being helped with their homework.
“Being part of Friday Night School is such a humbling experience where I have the privilege of sharing my Siena education with other young girls and am able to contribute to the learning and growth of another individual. But what’s more than this, is that I am able to form a genuine connection with another young person and watch their schooling journey unfold, hopefully providing them with support, guidance and a friendship to develop their love for learning.”
Hayley Di Stefano, Year 12
"Upon first hearing about Friday Night School, I was very interested in the program and excited at the opportunity to assist and watch these students grow as they learn. So far, I have really enjoyed meeting the tutees and learning more about each students' abilities and different cultural backgrounds. What surprised me about the experience was how comfortable I felt and how encouraging the environment was, as I was slightly nervous going into my first session."
Grace Kim, Year 12
“Friday Night School is a fantastic program, as it facilitates the transfer of knowledge from those who have been privileged enough to access and feel comfortable in their education to those who may be still learning English. Observing the learning process through someone else's eyes is incredibly rewarding, and the effervescent humour and brightness of the tutees has truly been a joy to witness.”
Juliet Guthrie, Year 12
“I knew I wanted to be involved in the program because of my passion for helping and connecting with people, and assisting in creating an environment where students feel comfortable to ask for help as well as grow in their learning. At first before starting, I was worried about my abilities to effectively help the students and connect with them easily, however, my doubts began to fade as soon as I started because I realised that everyone was in the same position, and by getting to know the students, it made everything much easier. My experience with working with the students so far has been very enjoyable and the idea of helping them even in the slightest bit provides me with an immensely rewarding feeling. I look forward to continuing in this program and from what I can already see happening, creating strong bonds."
Helya Ezadi, Year 11