Mentoring is a very important area of pupil support here in Friends’ School and some 60 Sixth Form pupils have volunteered this year to work alongside junior and middle school pupils to help them with homework, personal organisation, coursework, study or specific subjects identified as a priority. Mentors meet with pupils on a regular basis, outside of class time, in small groups or individually and we value the supportive and positive relationships that develop between the senior and junior pupils as a result.
Additionally, in Year 8 three Mentors are assigned to each Collect group at the beginning of the year and they assist with Year 8’s induction to School, working alongside a Collect teacher and two Heads of Year. These Year 8 Mentors stay with these pupils for the remainder of their first year, getting to know them very well and helping them to settle into the life and routines of a new school.
With the development of these relationships, it is hoped that younger pupils can become more confident and independent learners as they are supported in their studies.
Mentoring helps to create a school community in which pupils are encouraged to take responsibility one for another and it is a very worthwhile experience for both mentors and those pupils being supported. As a voluntary activity, it acknowledges a keen sense of service as vitally important and recognises that all pupils have something valuable to offer to their fellow pupils.
Aims of Mentoring:
- To create positive relationships between senior and junior pupils
- To promote pupils’ self esteem
- To provide a forum where experiences can be shared between pupils
- To create positive relationships between senior pupils and pastoral staff
- To encourage Year 14 pupils to take increased responsibility
- To develop the communication, personal and interpersonal skills of pupils
- To assist Year 8 pupils in their induction and integration to school
- To provide one-to-one support for junior and middle school pupils in personal, homework and study skills
As one Year 8 pupil said, “When I came to a brick wall my Mentor gave me a helping hand up and then I was able to climb over the top myself. And it was great fun!”
In Year 14 all pupils also take on the role and responsibility of Prefectship.