Student volunteering has gained significant traction in Irish higher education, enabling a formalization of a traditionally organic activity. Formalizing student volunteering leads to the growth in best practice supports, developing a rich opportunity and space for university civic engagement. Student volunteering with community educational programmes is particularly popular, as students are actively engaged with youth organizations and schools, local to campuses and internationally, travelling as teaching assistants with development NGOs. Drawing on an extensive literature review, critiques of student volunteering as the vehicle for community engagement and reflection are shared alongside a case study of a university–school partnership. A partnership exists between three local primary schools and the National University of Ireland, Galway, historically through a mentoring or tutoring relationship – the homework club. The following case study seeks to map the partnership, led by a holistic research and reflection process, to build a whole-school approach to the engagement. A critical analysis of student volunteering, a component of this research process, is an important contribution to transforming the partnership relationship.