LEARNING MENTOR GUIDANCE DOCUMENT
The Learning Mentor programme at Fearnhill helps to enable children to overcome barriers to learning and raises their aspirations to fulfill their potential. This is achieved through positive relationships and the development of initiatives that raise achievement and encourage inclusion, creating the opportunity for every child to be successful.
To identify and remove the barriers to learning that prevents individuals achieving their full potential.
To reduce exclusion and improve attendance and punctuality
To raise academic standards at Fearnhill School
To develop positive relationships with students
To develop and share good practice
To monitor and evaluate the learning mentor programme to assess its impact and success
To develop a distinct learning mentor role which adds to the range of support available to pupils
To integrate learning mentoring into school culture
To promote inclusion
To develop a holistic approach to children's education where emotional and social growth and academic achievement are all equally valued
To contribute to the school's delivery of the Every Child Matters outcomes
The learning mentor role is to act as a mentor to pupils with the express objective of ensuring they engage with learning and are therefore able to access all available educational opportunities. In any one day a learning mentor may be helping children with their academic skills or with friendship issues, liaising with other agencies, meeting with teachers, running group sessions. All with the aim of assisting pupils to engage constructively with school life. Whilst the learning mentor role complements many other roles in school, it should not be confused with that of a teaching assistant, teacher or any other member of staff. Learning Mentors are a distinct resource for pupils. The role is a varied and diverse one, it should, however retain the elements described in this section.
Learning mentors develop effective referral systems in consultation with Senior Leadership Team to identify children in need of mentoring support.
Learning mentors gather information and liaise with teachers and appropriate agencies to assess the needs of the Mentee in order to draw up and implement an action plan.*
Learning mentors provide 1:1 support in regular, focused sessions aimed at giving pupils the opportunity to discuss issues and to work on the targets in their action plan. Contact should be established with the families/carers of the children receiving support, to encourage positive family involvement in the child’s learning.
Through strategies such as individual sessions, small groups, role play and games, learning mentors work with pupils on anger management, emotional literacy, social skills, bullying issues and other areas which may be causing barriers to their learning. As with 1:1 work these sessions are planned and have clear objectives and targets.
Learning mentors build up a full knowledge of the range of support available for pupils. They will be aware of the processes for accessing specialist support e.g. other mentoring schemes, Young Carers projects, social services, business partnerships, school counsellors and other Educational Support Services.
Learning mentors promote the effective transfer of pupil information from primary to secondary schools in order to smooth transition. They plan activities to prepare identified pupils for key stage 2/3 transition and work closely with the Secondary Transition Coordinator and Special Educational Needs
Learning mentors develop programmes of study support to help their mentees with good organisation, coping with homework and course work, revision skills, and preparation for examinations.
Learning Mentors will be familiar with and promote lunchtime or after school activities e.g. music, art, games, IT, sport which provide enrichment and opportunities for social interaction.
Learning mentors make a key contribution to whole school initiatives. Their role is to support new and innovative strategies, to try to tackle the causes of poor attendance.
The nature of the role means that children will often talk to learning mentors about a variety of issues affecting them both in and out of school. At the beginning of a relationship with a pupil, learning mentors need to establish that confidentiality cannot be maintained if there are any concerns over the safety of any young people. There may be instances where children make disclosures of a sensitive nature. Learning mentors have a responsibility to pass on such disclosures to the designated professional (Child Protection Coordinator). They should always tell children that they need to do this and they should not ask children leading questions. Beyond this it is vital that learning mentors familiarise themselves fully with the schools Child Protection procedures, and liaise closely with the designated Child Protection Coordinator.