Learning Mentors are a service we offer at John Spence to provide our students with extra support. We have four members of staff who are dedicated Learning Mentors.
How the service works
Heads of Year can refer students in to the service to be allocated a learning mentor. Learning mentors work one-to-one with students to help remove barriers to learning. These may include issues such as behaviour, mental health and/or social and emotional difficulties. In order to achieve this, we value the need to work alongside the parents, carers and professionals working with the family.
The learning mentors act as an advocate for the student. They work together with Heads of Years, Home School Liaison Officers, Teachers and Special Support Assistants to ensure a collective and efficient level of support for students within school. They help students with organisation, homework and revision. They dedicate time working with our Key Stage 4 students looking at their academic progress and post-16 opportunities for the future.
At John Spence, We also offer mindfulness and well-being drop-in sessions, as well as one-to-one mindfulness work in mentor sessions. Other clubs and drop-in sessions ran by the learning mentors include Cookery Club, Young Carers, Climbing Club and 5-a-side football. A valuable asset that we have is our school garden. This is a nurturing environment for our students to be in and where they can develop practical life skills.
The learning mentors work closely with support agencies and professionals to deliver group work and issue-based assemblies. Positive Choices and Man Up are our all-girl and all-boy groups which are focused around healthy relationships, risk-taking behaviour, sexual health, substance misuse and mental health. Other group work that we offer has a focus on girls’ self-esteem, boys’ identity, exam anxiety and anger management. We have assemblies that raise awareness around issues such as street safety, knife crime and bullying.
In addition to our services, ‘Some One Cares’ counselling service provides two full days of extra support to our students. Heads of Years refer into this service via the learning mentors and a space is allocated to that student for 1 hour per week for 8 sessions. This is a valuable partnership that has worked efficiently for many years.