Voluntaries Time takes place after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It is a time when younger pupils are encouraged to commit to activities and also a time when teachers offer support for learning.
Teachers from all departments lead activities that reflect their own leisure interests or skills outside the classroom. The activities are an opportunity for pupils to broaden academic horizons, and explore artistic, literary, cultural or sporting activities without ever having to be tested on the experience. Above all, Vols are designed to be fun. The variety of Vols on offer are an opportunity for pupils to delve deeper into things that really interest them, such as astronomy and debating, as well as a chance to have a go at something that they have never done before, such as chess or shooting.
Pupils are encouraged to sign up for different six-week courses from a choice of about 50 that run over the first two terms, providing the opportunity to get involved in a wide variety of activities. Some of the courses are more academic, such as junior economics, Italian for beginners and advanced maths for juniors. Others are sheer fun, such as crochet, making books and playing cards. For pupils who like to keep active, there is fives, tennis, waterpolo and squash, while for those who prefer quiet time at the end of a busy day, there are sessions for private reading, mindfulness, watching classic films and junior book clubs.
Academic surgeries offer pupils the chance to get one-on-one help with teachers, to make sure that they are making progress which is in line with their academic ability. As with any other afternoon, there is also the chance for music ensembles or individual instrumentalists to practise.