Aim: To become an accredited Academy (Hub) by extending existing coaching and mentoring qualifications across other departments and schools, in order to raise the aspirations and performance of both mentors and younger mentees.
Background: The Mathematics department already offered the Institute of Leadership and Management Level 2 Qualification in Coaching and Mentoring for Young Learners to a small group of Sixth Formers, who then conducted one-to-one tutorials and also supported teachers in classes, which created a wonderful atmosphere of peer learning and support.
Year 1: Staff in other departments were encouraged to participate and close links were set up with the English department. Five English, one Science and two Geography students were enrolled into the programme. The English Lead Teacher was fully integrated into the process and trained as an internal verifier. The school gained accreditation as a hub centre and details were made available to local schools if they wished to participate.
Year 2: A few changes were made, including interviewing students to assess their suitability and make them aware of the expectations before the start of the course. This led to fewer dropping out, and 28 out of 29 students gained their qualification. Extra sessions were set up to ensure that all subjects involved had suitable leadership and support. This allowed students to work in subject-focused groups with a teacher who knew the subject fully. An outside speaker helped to coach students on how to approach their mentees and get the best out of them, which the mentors found both useful and thoroughly enjoyable.
As well as the subjects represented in Year 1, students from DT, Economics, History and PE also joined the programme. Initial contact was made with other schools but no responses were received.
Year 3: Unfortunately teachers’ time constraints meant that only students from Maths, English and Geography enrolled in the course. More use was made of mentors in Sixth Form classes, which was especially helpful when teachers were away for a lesson. The coaching and mentoring programme achieved Academy status within the school, meaning that students from across the school would be able to select it as their enrichment option in succeeding years.
Evidence: Student and teacher surveys, in-depth pupil feedback, mentee results and progress.
Impact: The vast majority of mentees (86%) felt that their confidence had increased and 72% said that their ability had improved. Teachers were even more definitive, stating that 97% of mentees had increased confidence and 79% had improved ability. 20-30 students gained their Coaching and Mentoring qualification in each year of the project.
Reflections: This has been a truly wonderful project to be a part of, as we are not only creating future leaders and managers but also impacting on younger students who are gaining confidence and ability in an area that was previously a concern to them. Success was also due to making participating students aware of the wider benefits of the qualification in terms of job interviews, university applications and leadership skills. Hopefully, now armed with data about the impact of the project, it will be easier to convince other schools to join this scheme.
Contact: Charlotte Mace, firstname.lastname@example.org