The GCSE Maths and English Mentoring Programme, an initiative run jointly by First Campus and the Central South Consortium, began in early November with mentors now in their third week of placements. Over 50 mentors from various disciplines were recruited from both Cardiff University and the University of South Wales to provide support to pupils in Year 11 in preparation for their upcoming GCSE exams.
Mentors were trained by Consortia staff on the latest developments in the Maths and English curriculum, on new exam specifications, and had a chance to practice their teaching skills on their peers. They have also had the opportunity to visit various the various local Hub schools for English or Maths, where students could witness best practice teaching in action. Placements then started, beginning a programme of 12 weeks of weekly visits to schools across South-East Wales.
Mentors will be getting to know their school, teachers and pupils in these three weeks of placement before Christmas. After their January exams, they will then have the opportunity to work with pupils more independently. They will work with a range of pupils of differing abilities, either as classroom assistants, with pupils in smaller groups, or perhaps on a one to one basis providing individual support. Several mentors have also already expressed an interest in creating homework clubs for pupils who would like the additional support.
To thank them for all of their hard work so far though, a Christmas Social has been arranged for the volunteers to be attended by First Campus and Consortia staff. This will give them a chance to chat about their experiences of the programme so far, what they hope to gain from the rest of the placement and, of course, relax and enjoy themselves!