Word Up (High School/Intensive English Centre)

A Compass volunteer and a high school student sitting at a table

We are looking for volunteers to help school students with their literacy and forge a path to higher education. Strong literacy skills are essential for learning, independence and to participate fully in society. A child who does not acquire these basic reading skills will struggle with school work and be at risk of dropping out of high school.

As a Word Up (High School/Intensive English Centre) volunteer, you will provide literacy support to secondary school-aged students in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 who are struggling with their reading. There are opportunities to suit all volunteers:

  • One-on-one tutoring using the Making Up Lost Time in Literacy (MULTILIT) program. This program consists of a series of engaging exercises that include phonics, word attack skills, fluency and reading comprehension.
  • Assisting small groups of students in the classroom. With your guidance, students will work through reading materials selected by schools to enhance students' fluency and reading comprehension. Your interaction with the students, for whom English maybe a second language, also provides an excellent opportunity to develop their confidence with conversational English.

Who should volunteer?

Join this volunteer program if you are:

  • Passionate about reading and literacy
  • Interested in helping students aged 12 to 16, many of whom come from a non-English speaking background
  • Comfortable working one-on-one or with small groups of students
  • Available to volunteer each week for the duration of the program

Read the position description (PDF).

Program dates

The Word Up program runs for 13 weeks, in two blocks:


Start Date

End Date

Block 1

(5 weeks)

Monday 5 May (Semester 1, Week 9)

Friday 6 June (Semester 1, Week 13)

Block 2

(8 weeks)

Monday 28 July (Semester 2, Week 1)

Friday 19 September (Semester 2, Week 8)

Volunteers must be available for all 13 weeks in order to participate.

Time commitment

Volunteers will need to be available for one 3-hour period per week during the hours of 8.30am-4.30pm, Monday-Friday. This period includes 1 hour of volunteering in school, and approximately 2 hours of travel time to the school. You will volunteer at the same time each week.

At some schools, you can volunteer for longer than 1 hour per week.


Volunteers are placed at one high school or Intensive English Centre for the duration of the program. Volunteer opportunities are available across Sydney, including:

  • Fairfield High School/Intensive English Centre
  • Liverpool Boys High School
  • Liverpool Girls High School
  • Westfields Sports High School


Compass will reimburse transport costs/mileage to a maximum of $20 per week.


Full training is provided. Please click here for further information.