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Chance to take part in school’s mentoring scheme

Business people and employers are being urged to volunteer to take part in a hugely successful mentoring scheme aimed at helping high school students gain the confidence and employability skills they will need in later life.

North Walsham High School will launch the sixth year of its mentoring scheme in February. Mentors take on between five and 10 Year 9 student mentees, and meet regularly with them over a two-and-a-half year period, to offer support and advice on qualifications, skills needed to progress towards their ambitions, and to help motivate and inspire them.

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.

“Our mentoring programme is designed to provide role models for our students,” said Kate Lawn, who is co-ordinating the initiative. “We want them to be inspired, motivated, confident, and full of self-belief. We need to develop their ‘soft skills’ to improve their long-term employment prospects. Employers have highlighted that employability skills are lacking in young people, so our aim is to build on these to enable them to progress in the world of work.”

Employers and business people who are interested in taking part are being invited to a business breakfast at the school to find out more.  The event takes place on January 22, 7am-8.30am.  Those interested in attending can reserve a place by contacting Kate Monday to Wednesday on 01692 402581 or by email on lawnk@nwhs.uk. The 2019 scheme will be launched at a “speed networking” event at the school on February 13.  Mentors receive training, and are required to complete a DBS check.

One current mentor at NWHS is Gail Adams, owner of Holiday let company, Pack Holidays.  She says that being a mentor gives her a lot of inspiration for the future: “It is well worth your time spending a little while with young, developing and curious minds.  The students I mentor are a fabulous set of young adults who are mature, kind, intelligent and engaging.”

Will elected as first student president

A 14-year-old student from North Walsham has followed Donald Trump to be inaugurated President after a close-fought election campaign – and he will now represent the town’s high school students for the next year.

Year 9 student Will Symonds became the first student president of North Walsham High School this week in an election which saw every student at the school cast a vote.  Following his inauguration, he has appointed a vice-president – Megan Robson – and a cabinet, which will work with the school’s senior leadership team.

Cabinet portfolios include teaching and learning; behaviour, welfare and safety; outcomes; special educational needs and disability (SEND), curriculum and business.  President Symonds has also appointed a special anti-bullying task force.

He styled himself ‘The Asian Guy’ during his election campaign, and in hustings speeches in front of his fellow students he tried to inject an element of fun into the process to engage with his electorate.

NWHS head teacher Neil Powell commented: “I am delighted at the extent to which students really engaged with the process of electing a student president, the first time we have held such an election.  I look forward to working with Will and his team to continue the whole school improvement with a strong student voice.”

 

Chance to join North Walsham mentor scheme

Business people and employers are being urged to volunteer to take part in a hugely successful mentoring scheme aimed at helping high school students gain the confidence and employability skills they will need in later life.

North Walsham High School will launch the fourth year of its acclaimed Mentoring Scheme in February – an initiative which has been emulated by high schools as far away as Truro.

Mentors take on between two and five Year 9 student mentees, and meet regularly with them over a two and a half year period, as well as being available via email and telephone, to offer support and advice on qualifications, skills needed to progress towards their ambitions, and to help motivate and inspire them.

Currently more than 280 students at the school are benefitting from having a mentor, with around 70 mentors taking part.

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.

“Our mentoring programme is designed to provide role models for our students,” said Paul Leaver, who is leading the initiative.  “We want them to be inspired, motivated, confident, and full of self-belief.

“We need to develop their ‘soft skills’ to improve their long-term employment prospects, because the latest research shows that this has huge benefits for both students and employers in the medium and long term.  Employers have highlighted that employability skills are lacking in young people, so our aim is to build on these to enable them to progress in the world of work.”

“We believe that all of our students benefit from mentoring, and it should be an entitlement for all.  Limited aspirations, low confidence, a weak sense of personal urgency and a limited understanding of career opportunities are shared across all ability levels.”

Employers and business people who are interested in taking part in the NWHS Mentoring Scheme are being invited to a business breakfast at the school to find out more.  The event takes place on 24th January from 7am-8.30am.  Those interested in attending can reserve a place by contacting Kate Lawn Monday to Wednesday on 01692 402581 or by email on lawnk@nwhs.uk.

The 2017 scheme will be launched at a ‘Speed Networking’ event at the school on February 8.  Mentors receive training, and are required to complete a DBS check.

Case Study

Mentor Carla Daniels has been mentoring three current Year 11 students for two years, and meets with them regularly.  The accountant with local firm Lovewell Blake says that the experience has been positive for both her mentees and herself.

“I have enjoyed being a mentor a great deal,” she says.  “As business people we have a responsibility if we want young people to become well-rounded individuals who are ready for work.

“I have enjoyed every session I have had with my mentees, and I will definitely be re-joining the scheme with a fresh set of Year 9 students.

“ I have a daughter myself who had nothing like this at school – as an employer I can really see the value of the scheme, and I have also learnt a lot myself from taking part.”

Mentor Carla Daniels from Lovewell Blake (left) with NWHS student mentees (from left) Carly Meizner, Harleigh Byers and Marcia Pegg (Picture: Andy Newman)

North Walsham’s young sports stars recognised at ceremony

North Walsham’s young sports stars have been recognised at a ceremony at the town’s Atrium, as North Walsham High School’s annual sports presentation evening acknowledged the school’s high achievers of 2016.

Lauren Hemp and Luke Everson shared the annual Sports Personality of the Year Award, given to the outstanding sports contributor in the year group which left in the summer.

Meanwhile the prestigious Graeme Wilton Award for Sporting Excellence went to Year 11 student Ethan Davies.  Katie Lince received a Service to PE award, with Mariusz Liszynski receiving an Outstanding Endeavour Award.

Three school sports teams were also recognised: the U14 and U16 Rounders teams, which both won their respective North Norfolk Leagues, and the U16 Girls Football team, which was runner-up in the County Cup.

The prizes were handed out by former NWHS student Josh Roper, who has gone on to become a Norfolk FA Ambassador, a participant in the FA’s Football Futures programme, and a recipient of an FA Outstanding Contribution to Football award.

Josh told students that there was no reason why they couldn’t live their dream in sport, telling them: “Sport is unique. The impact that it has on people is different from anything else. It is not just being the best sports person. It is about developing so many different skills, such as leadership, communication, and the ability to change lives.

“My biggest advice would be to take any opportunity that comes your way, even if it is just voluntary; you never know just how far picking up cones could take you – for me it was to Chicago!”

School head of PE Paul Bradshaw said: “These awards are a chance to recognise publicly the many sporting achievements of our students during the past 12 months.  Sport remains very strong at the school, and it is important to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of our students.

“We have seen students competing at the very highest level during the year, including at international level.  But these awards are about recognising excellence at every level in both individual and team sports.

“Sport can play such an important role for young people, not just in encouraging physical fitness and healthy living, but also in fostering a sense of teamwork, challenge and achievement which will benefit them way beyond the sports field and into their future lives.”

Picture: ANDY NEWMAN

Picture Attached: Joint winners of the NWHS Sports Personality of the Year Award Luke Everson (left) and Lauren Hemp, with guest speaker and former NWHS student Josh Roper (centre) (photo: Andy Newman)

Joint winners of the NWHS Sports Personality of the Year Award Luke Everson (left) and Lauren Hemp, with guest speaker and former NWHS student Josh Roper (centre).