Mentoring Programme with The Springfields Academy
This is a Mentoring Programme whereby a group of LVI and UVI Form girls from St Mary's Calne help the pupils at The Springfields Academy on a weekly basis. They are involved helping them in a range of activities, such as art and drama, sports games including cricket and lacrosse, and social events such as BBQs and Christmas and Halloween parties.
The aim of the Mentoring Programme is to help the children at The Springfields Academy to develop their social skills, self-belief and communication skills. Some of the children are quite shy and the programme has helped them to interact with other young people and to become more confident, developing an important life skill. For the St Mary’s girls, it is also important for them, as they are developing their own sense of responsibility, empathy and the importance of belonging to and helping the local community.
The Mentoring Programme is also relevant to the subjects that some of the UVI Form girls wish to study in future (for example one of the girls was studying Psychology and another wished to go into Nursing).
The Mentoring Programme was established in the summer of 2013 and came about following discussions between the Heads of the two schools.
We use St Mary's Calne's astro and top hall for many of the activities and also the sports fields for the sports games. We have also used classroom facilities for an evening of board games. The partnership involves both teaching and non-teaching staff. On a weekly basis a non-teaching member of staff accompanies the pupils during the mentoring session, however, the Senior Mistress (teaching member of staff) oversees the programme and attends sessions whenever possible. In addition, other teaching staff (for example from PE, Drama and Language Departments) are involved as required, depending on the activity.
There is money allocated to the project for activities where this is required (including catering, art and craft supplies, party and games materials).
We continuously monitor and assess how successful each mentoring session has been, based on feedback from the pupils and staff from both schools. The Springfields Academy pupils often request to stay on a Wednesday evening to take part in the mentoring scheme, even though this may not be their usual boarding night. Before each cohort of mentors are inducted and trained, the Senior Mistress from St Mary's meets with the Head and the Head of Boarding from The Springfields Academy to review the initiative and build on the year's work.
The anticipated outcomes for The Springfields Academy (which have been realised) are: increased self esteem, greater ease in interacting with older students and adults from outside Springfields, and greater confidence in visiting unfamiliar environments and taking part in activities which may be new to them.
Ten girls from the LVI and UVI from St Mary's Calne are involved helping the pupils at The Springfields Academy (both boys and girls, aged 9 to 13 years old).
The Mentoring Programme takes place on a weekly basis, on a Wednesday evening between 5.30pm - 7.30pm and it is an ongoing project between the two schools.