Each year over 30 dedicated mentors from Macfarlanes support students from three Newham Secondary Schools. Through a series of face-to-face meetings, as well as regularly e-mentoring contact, students work through self-selected targets with the support and guidance of their mentors.
Our mentoring programme is designed to ensure that all participating students are given the opportunity to receive one-to-one guidance from a business professional; someone who can draw on their own experiences and expertise in order to guide students through a crucial part of the educational journey.
Having a one to one with my mentor because I got the opportunity to get more adviceForest Gate Students
Students are encouraged to develop a set of targets, towards which they will work throughout the programme. However, our mentoring programme also allows students to use their partnership with their mentor as a sounding board for ideas, questions, or concerns. Whilst members of school staff are extremely supportive and well place to assist the young people in their care, we find that students appreciate having someone unconnected from school or home life to work with as well.
We begin each of our programmes with detailed training for both mentors and mentees. It is important for both members of the partnership to know what will be expected of them throughout the year and to understand how the programme will work.
The first meeting takes place at the school, where mentors and mentees get to know one another before setting out their targets for the year.
There are four further meetings, which take place at Macfarlanes in Chancery Lane. Here the students get the chance to see around their mentors’ workplace, continue working towards their targets, and catch up on progress during the programme. At each of these meetings, the partnerships work on activities created and facilitated by 15billionebp such as CV workshops and formal vs informal communication.
Between all of the meetings, the partnerships are set up with an e-mentoring email, which allows them to keep in contact at any time.
The session was useful as we developed communication skills and it boosted my confidenceForest Gate Students
The programmes support students not only in meeting their targets, but in being able to set their own targets for future goals too. The skills that are gained alongside the development of specific goals, such as communication and time management, are also invaluable for students as they progress through their educational pathways.
He gave me advice on topics such as how to deal with procrastinationForest Gate Students
The ability to provide a programme personal to each and every student involved is truly unique. Students are able to explore and develop any area that they might be interested in or concerned about. Whilst students have regular contact with supportive adults in their home and school lives, there is little time dedicated to simply discussing their ideas, and that is something that a number of students have noted as their favourite part of the programme.
He gave me career advice based on different paths you can take and steps to being successfulForest Gate Student
The main lesson learnt from the 2016 programme with Forest Gate, alongside our other mentoring programmes, is that they work best when the partnerships have sufficient support to work on useful topics but also sufficient freedom to explore new ideas. We will continue to ensure that each mentor and mentee pairing makes the most out of this programme.
I think the programme works very well as it is – people have the freedom to make more of it by engaging in the email systemMentor