Mentoring from local firms gets GCSE students off to a flying start

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Enterprise South Liverpool Academy has invited a national recruitment and training firm into their school to help mentor GCSE students.

The year 11 pupils enjoy weekly visits from the Liverpool city centre outfit New Directions Education. The team were invited into the school to help offer support, to listen to the pupils concerns and to offer advice with their chosen career paths.

The partnership came about after the recruitment firm met with Assistant Principal at ELSA, Nicola Runcie. New Directions spoke with Nicola about how they might assist signposting students for future career paths. Emma Joyce, Branch Manager for the business was introduced to Barry Wheller, Director of Process for ELSA who linked the team up with 12 students.
Barry explained the purpose of the programme was to introduce the students to assertive mentoring. The school hopes that by bringing in mentors from the wider community, students may open up about their hopes and fears for life beyond their GCSEs.

Speaking about their involvement with the project, Emma Joyce, Branch Manager for New Directions says ‘We have really enjoyed working with the students at ELSA. They are very mature in their approach to achieving their GCSE goals. They have all been very open with our team, and it is a pleasure to see them each week’.

Assistant Principal Nicola Runcie said of the mentoring scheme ‘This year we have implemented an extensive assertive mentoring programme. Staff from New Directions, Liverpool John Lennon Airport, and our own staff have been meeting with students from Year 11 on a weekly basis. Student feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, stating that they feel more able to plan and prepare for their exams, that they have had the chance to discuss their future career plans with adults working in that sector and that some have gained valuable work experience through the initiative’.

Students from the mentoring programme receive a visit from the team every week, and the programme ran for a total of nine weeks. Here is what some of the students had to say about their mentors:

‘I have enjoyed the assertive mentoring programme. My mentor is helping me not to worry about my controlled assessments and has given me time management strategies to help complete it on time’.

‘I have enjoyed a mentor because she has given me some useful support in the subjects I am struggling with. Furthermore she has helped my self-confidence and helped me to learn about the career I would like to choose’.

Linking in with local business to support student learning is a trend Emma from New Directions hopes to see continue. ‘We offer some real experience to students facing their GCSE journey. If we can help even a handful like the guys from ESLA, we know we have helped the future of young people in the region’.