Could you mentor a high school student?

A call has gone out for business people and employers to support a hugely-successful mentoring scheme at North Walsham High School.

With several new mentors signed up last year, the school careers department is pushing forward with plans to get the scheme back to centre stage.

The mentoring was first launched several years ago to help high school students gain confidence and skills they will need once they enter the world of work.

Work-based learning officer Kate Lawn said: “The programme is based on the simple basis that young people will succeed if they are supported by those who are already successful. It’s also a fantastic way to raise aspirations of our young people, giving them role models who will inspire them and help them develop their ‘soft’ skills to boost prospects.”

Business people are being asked to go along to a business breakfast on Wednesday, February 12, from 7am to 8.30am, to meet current mentors, share ideas and meet students. They can then attend a speed networking launch on the morning of Tuesday, March 31.

Kate said: “We want all of our students to benefit from mentoring. Research shows that it has huge benefits for students and employers, who have highlighted that employability skills are lacking in young people. Our aim is to build these to enable students to progress in the world of work.”

The scheme is aimed at current Year 9 students, who will choose a mentor they will keep until they leave school.

The speed networking will be their chance to hear from potential mentors before they choose someone they have interacted with well. Over the course of Years 10 and 11, the students meet their mentors regularly.

Mentors are asked to commit to an average of one meeting per half term – if each meeting lasts an hour, that would be 10 hours over two years. There is training available, as well as a pack of activities. All mentors will need a DBS check.

Students who have taken part in the scheme have spoken about how the experience helped build their confidence and self-esteem, as well as guiding them in their choices for the future. Mentors have also reported that taking part has been a rewarding experience, helping their own personal development, as well as ensuring that tomorrow’s workforce has the skills needed to be useful employees.

Kate added: “We want our students to be inspired, motivated, confident, and full of self-belief. We believe that all of our students benefit from mentoring, and it should be an entitlement for all.”

For more information or to sign up contact Kate, on 01692 402581 or email workbasedlearning@northwalshamhigh.norfolk.sch.uk.

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