The Raising Ambitions Mentoring Programme was funded from a successful grant application submitted by The Dorset Community Foundation to The Goldsmiths’ Company. Wey Valley School worked in partnership with the Dorset Community Foundation and Dorset Youth Association to deliver the programme.

Research from the National Mentoring Partnership has demonstrated that mentoring schemes have a positive impact on raising aspirations, attendance and educational attainment for young people aged 14-16. As a result two types of mentoring schemes were piloted at Wey Valley. This included a dedicated in school Mentor and the Volunteer Mentor Programme which recruited volunteers from local businesses.

The in school mentoring programme aimed to help young people aged 14-16 by improving:

  • Communitcation skills
  • Self-esteem and confidence
  • Raising career/further educational aspirations

 During the programme;

  • 10 Business Mentors were recruited to work with students and coordinate monthly support and guidance sessions
  • 5 inspirational guests visited the school to talk to students on topics ranging from work ethic and the importance of having goals, to healthy eating and sporting pathways
  • A stress management/ relaxation workshop was offered to help students with exam stress
  • Students were signposted to the ‘Steps Development Programme’ which helps with confidence, self-esteem and communication
  • A trip for 15 students was arranged to spend three days on the TS Pelican to encourage personal development such as building confidence
  • A trip to Bournemouth University for a ‘Health and Well-Being Day’ was organised to focus on issues such as internet safety, mental health and exercise

Opportunities like these help to motivate students and discover their career aspirations. They are now more aware of the business world and the pathways available to them, which in turn helps them to set their goals.

 

The impact

100% of students improved their attendance (out of those who had a rate of less than 90% at the start).

For those who saw self-esteem and confidence as a barrier 100% improved.

2 students were offered work experience opportunities over the summer with their mentors.