WANTED! Mentors for Year 11 students

We are now recruiting Mentors for our “What A Difference A Day Makes” (WADADM) programme for Year 11 students in Ipswich secondary schools. New and existing Student Ambassadors at the University of Suffolk are invited to apply to be Mentors by completing our online application form.

What is the WADADM programme?

Before Covid, WADADM was 24 hours of Maths catch up support for Years 11s delivered by teachers at the University of Suffolk on Saturday mornings. The programme has a positive impact on pupils’ GCSE Maths progress.

In Summer 2020, when schools were closed to most pupils, Ipswich and Norwich Opportunity Areas adapted the programme to be delivered online, to Year 11s worried about the dip in their Maths and English skills during lockdown. A key element of the online programme was the addition of mentors, and a focus on independent learning and wellbeing.

From February 2021 we want to offer Year 11s a Mentor-led programme, to help them prepare confidently for the exams in July and July 2021, and to think about their future after exams, whether that’s college, sixth form or an apprenticeship, and beyond, whether that’s further study or work.

Do I need to be good at Maths?

Not at all! Your role as Mentor will be to first help pupils develop their independence in using the Ipswich Maths programme to improve their Maths skills. We don’t want you to teach Maths – the success of Ipswich Maths depends on young people taking control of their learning – your role is to support, encourage and motivate them.

Once pupils you mentor are confident in using Ipswich Maths, you will move on to helping them to prepare for exams, organise their learning, and identify their strengths and weaknesses. You’ll also support them with their plans after GCSEs, whether that’s college, sixth form or apprenticeship.

Will I get training?

Absolutely. Before you start you’ll take an online safeguarding course with the NSPCC. You’ll also receive training on each aspect of the course so that you feel confident in supporting the students – from how to use the Ipswich Maths programme, to exam prep and study skills. We’ll also give you training on the process of mentoring and you’ll have a mentoring supervisor who will help you work through any aspects of the mentor role that you find challenging.

What is the time commitment?

For a group of four Year 11 pupils you should expect to commit around 3 hours a week – that’s an hour a week on your training and preparation, and around 2 hours of contact a week via Google Classrooms and email with your mentees. You could take on more than one group of four pupils if you choose. It’s very important that if you sign up to the programme that you make a commitment to stay in the role from it’s start in February 2021 until it completes in June 2021.

Will I get paid?

We will pay £8.50 per hour, for your time in training and mentoring each week, through the University of Suffolk in your Student Ambassador role. You will also accrue holiday entitlement in line with the University scheme. There are also a range of other benefits:

  • Valuable work experience
  • A fantastic training programme – including safeguarding, mentoring and working with young people
  • Ad-hoc participation incentives
  • A reference letter and certificate at the end of the assignment that you can use for future job applications
  • An introduction to local schools – useful for those who want to work in education
  • Excellent personal development

How will online mentoring work?

We’ll provide a secure Google Classrooms platform that you can use to communicate with your mentees, using Google Meets and a dedicated email account. All pupils will have been put forward for mentoring by their schools, so you’ll have the support of teachers at their school to help you encourage and motivate them, as well as the WADADM team and your mentor supervisor.

How do I sign up?

You can sign up to the programme by completing our online application form by December 24th 2020. If you would like to have a chat to someone from the team to find out more before you decide, you can email us at ipswichopportunityarea@gmail.com, and we can answer questions by email or organise for someone to give you a call or Zoom.

Once you’ve applied we’ll invite you to an online information event early in January and you will need to complete an enhanced DBS check through the University of Suffolk if you don’t already have one. Training will begin in late January/early February, and will be online, usually in early evening slots, or available as self-directed study that you can do in your own time.

We’d love to hear from you! APPLY NOW!