What is a Learning Mentor?
The Learning Mentor role at Ashgate Primary School is multi functional and designed to meet the wide and varied needs of children and families beyond the curriculum. These can be short term or ongoing, but always place the child at the centre of what is done. The needs addressed by the Learning Mentor range from basic friendship support to wider, more complex needs such as safeguarding vulnerable children.
The Learning Mentor works in a multi-agency capacity alongside various professionals. The role can include supporting families at attendance, liaising with health professionals, Network/Core group actions, Children In Need and Child Protection meetings, as well as working with other staff in school and with the Designated Child Protection Person.
Equally importantly, the Learning Mentor acts as a ‘first stop’ contact for children and families who are asking for help, a friendly person who will listen and a 'safe and well practitioner' who can monitor children’s pastoral needs.
Making a good start to the day:
The Ashgate Primary Schools Learning Mentor provides a daily breakfast club for 35 children. It provides a healthy, nutritious breakfast and ensures that children are able to have fun and socialize. A positive start in the mornings and getting to class on time, enables the children to relax and learn in the classroom. (Funding secured from Greggs Breakfast Club). Pupils and families requiring specific support are given priority and this can often be part of a wider support plan, utilizing the skills and expertise of outside agencies.
Maintaining positive interactions:
A daily activity club is run each lunch time for children who require support based with social and emotional needs, or as a reward for development in this area. Activities such as football, dodge ball, basketball, relay games, board games, role plays and free play can all enable the children to learn valuable life-skills such as socializing and turn taking.
Individual Intervention and Support
The Learning Mentor is able to deliver individual or small-group interventions in order to meet the children’s individual needs. Topics may include bereavement, anger management and increasing self-esteem, as well as investigating other barriers impacting on the child’s time in school which may not always be immediately evident or that are short term. Such work ensures that children have the ability and mindfulness to engage in wider school life.
An after-school Netball club is held weekly for the year 5 and 6 girls and boys in order to improve fitness and provide the platform for their sporting career into secondary education.
Reaching out for help
By having an open door policy for children and parents, the Learning Mentor is able to support parents with complex issues and complete Early Help Assessments in order to gain support from the relevant professionals. Any parent is free to contact the learning mentor who will endeavour to seek support for you, provide it within school or signpost you to other professionals.
The Government recognises that school attendance is essential in ensuring children reach their full potential and has advised that every schools overall attendance should be 95% or above.
Due to all the hard work of children, parents and staff, Ashgate has very nearly met the target. Please see overall school attendance figures below...
ž 2010/2011 – 92.8%
2015 /2016 - 94.98