As part of our NCOP activity we have set up a mentoring programme to match Student Ambassadors with learners in two of our NCOP partner schools and this month saw the first mentoring sessions take place.
The Student Ambassador mentors are drawn from AccessHE member HEIs London Metropolitan University, London South Bank University, Ravensbourne, St Mary’s University Twickenham London, University College London and University for the Creative Arts.
In early March, the newly trained mentors from these HEIs visited both Emerson Park Academy and Marshalls Park Academy for an introductory mentoring session. Facilitated by AccessHE staff, the mentors and mentees took part in icebreakers and a ”speed mentoring” activity, which was a fun and engaging way of getting the group to know each other better. After this session, the mentees were matched with the mentors they will be working with for the remainder of the programme.
Towards the end of the month, our mentors were back in the two schools for the second mentoring session. This session had an explicit focus on higher education (HE) and sought to enable the mentees to express their thoughts and opinions on HE, as well as hear from the mentors about their different learner journeys and experiences with higher education. Conversations in the mentoring groups began with the mentees’ pre-existing knowledge of HE and branched out into their interests and favourite subjects, touching upon their future goals, whether in education or a career.
As one of the mentors said, “some of the mentees have a clear idea of where they want to go but others don’t and I hope that, as a mentor sharing my personal experiences and working with my mentees to explore future options, I can help fill in their unanswered questions”.
The next mentoring sessions take place after the Easter break and we look forward to seeing our mentoring groups continue their discussions over the summer term.