Jacari: Time to Teach


What is Jacari?

Jacari is a student-run University charity. Initially established as an organisation aiming to tackle racial intolerance, we have evolved over the past fifty years into a home teaching scheme. We link students from Oxford University and now Oxford Brookes with local ethnic minority children who need help with reading, writing and speaking English, and also with other subjects on request.

Many of these children come from immigrant families. Most only speak English as a second language and are thus disadvantaged at school.

Our volunteers visit children in their own homes for an hour or so a week, meeting their parents and often becoming good friends with the whole family.


The chance to give something to the surrounding community is a really worthwhile experience, an opportunity to see a very different side of Oxford and breaks down the traditional barriers of “town and gown”.

The practical help given by our student teachers is of lasting benefit, building confidence and broadening the opportunities of the children and families involved.


You need no qualifications or experience to be involved in the Jacari programme. Simply fill in the application form and return it to Jacari along with a passport sized photograph. We will then send you details of a child to visit, together with a comprehensive teaching pack.

There is plenty of support for our home teachers: student teachers are not isolated, and there is plenty of help and other extras besides the teaching.

Join Us

We hope you will decide to join us and that you will find the experience interesting and enjoyable. Your commitment will be greatly appreciated by the child's family and school.

We look forward to hearing from you!

How do I join?

Simply click here for an application form, print it and send it to our address with a passport-sized photo.

How much time will it take?

We suggest that you teach for one hour a week during the University term-time. It doesn't ever have to take up any more time unless you want it to, either by agreeing more sessions with your family and child or by joining our committee.

Leave a bit of time for preparing the lesson and for travelling to your child's home (most families live in Cowley or down the Iffley Road).

How long must I commit?

Preferably for one year or more. It's better for the children if you carry on all year to help them learn consistently.

What do you need to know about me?

In order to work with children every volunteer needs a CRB check, a routine security check. Once we have received your application form we will invite you into the Office for a 10 minute form-filling and document-photocopying session.

Click here for more details about CRB checks.

I'm a visiting student. Can I join?

Definitely, as long as you join at the beginning of your time at Oxford and so can commit for a year or more.

What help do I get?

You will receive one of our teaching packs before starting which will give you an introduction to home teaching.

Teaching tips can be found in the documents section of the website.

We hold optional termly seminars where local school teachers come to give advice.

Our office is open regularly and we are happy to offer advice!

We have a brilliant library from which you can borrow books and games to use.

Do I need to speak my child's first language?

In teaching English as a second language you won't be required to speak the child's first language (though it's fantastic if you do). One of your main roles will be to build the child's confidence orally so speaking English is all that's needed.

How do I contact the family?

We'll send a letter to the family of your child telling them you have volunteered. We'll then send you contact details of your child. It's up to you to make contact and arrange your first visit, either by phone or by letter.

Are there any events organised for the children?

Yes! Trips, parties and games are a big part of Jacari. Every term we put on a number of optional events for volunteers and their children, from Ice Skating to Laserquest, from visits to the Ashmolean Museum to trips to the Cinema and from Sports Days to visits to the Cotswold Wildlife Park.

On top of this we have socials for volunteers to meet, share ideas and have fun! See the events page for further details.

Any other questions?

Feel free to email us or pop into the office and we'll do our very best to answer them.