USW and Cardiff University Student Ambassadors began their weekly mentoring at the end of January, after the initial visit to their schools before Christmas. Ambassadors mentored for 10 weeks in total across the spring term, though some had to miss a session due to snowy weather conditions at the beginning of March! At the end of term we then hosted another social for Student Ambassadors and staff from both universities, allowing everyone to share experiences over some pizza. Student Ambassadors were also given a certificate and a token of thanks for their committed volunteering over the course of the scheme. The feedback session conducted highlighted how valuable students had found the programme. One student said it gave them “a real insight into teaching”; another described it as a “rewarding experience” and several noted that they could act as both a role model and a source of advice for school pupils which was positive.
Student Ambassadors then had the opportunity to progress onto Upgrade, a mentoring scheme for Further Education where they support pupils in the weeks leading up to resitting their GCSE Maths and English exams this summer. There is more of a pastoral focus in this scheme, as Ambassadors support learners who have experienced failure in Maths and English and support them to overcome a fundamental barrier to their progression to level 4 study. This will encourage Ambassadors to use the resources they gained mentoring at GCSE level, whilst also allowing them to develop new skills.