Shropshire college launches online mentoring initiative

Students at a Shropshire college have been nominated as subject mentors to provide free one-to-one academic support to other students through an online mentoring scheme.

The Colet Mentoring initiative, which has been launched at Concord College in Acton Burnell, will initially involve 14 sixth form and a form five student as subject mentors providing ‘expert help on demand’ to other students.

They were nominated by heads of departments in the disciplines of mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics, having received online training from EasyA, an online tutoring outlet, in the use of the app, mentoring skills and safeguarding.

Students described being part of the project as "truly humbling" and said it would help to bridge the gap between mentors and mentees during unprecedented times when social distancing and bubbles have limited healthy student interactaction between year groups.

Assistant principal (professional development and systems) Daniel Wilson said: “The current mentoring programme has enabled students to seek help from their peers beyond the school day.

“The college has been looking for ways to ease this access for students so they can get the help they need in order to succeed.

"The aim is to provide a further resource to help Concord students reach their potential.

“To meet the needs of our own students’ academic schedules, the app is enabling students to connect with Concord’s subject mentors during their prep periods.

“Mentors can actually control when they are available for support so as not to be overloaded.

"They can only be contacted between 6.30pm and 8.30pm Monday to Friday.”

Reflecting on the benefits of the new initiative, Mr Wilson added: “Mentees will be able to receive help during prep quickly and easily via the secure app.

“They can work through questions and problems with their peers and get guidance on mastering key skills in their subjects.

“The hope is that the online mentoring scheme will eventually be used across the whole school in the next academic year as well as to possibly provide outreach to local secondary schools and Concord international schools in the future.”

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