KS4 Mentoring The purpose of academic mentoring The provision of teacher mentoring is to provide learners with time to talk

, think and reflect on their learning in order to: • • • • • raise their attainment; empower them to become more effective learners; develop their thinking skills; support them in developing independent learning skills; raise confidence in themselves as learners and in the school as a learning community;

The role of the tutor To ensure that the role of the tutor is as effective as possible, sessions should: • • • be target driven and provide clear next steps for pupils; build on known strengths, whilst working on known weaknesses or difficulties; entail regular reviews and discussion of progress, both formal (in mentoring sessions) and informal (talking to the pupils around the school at other times); encourage a move from dependence to independence;

Group sessions provide opportunities for pupils to practise the language to describe their learning with peers and allow the tutors to monitor progress. Establishing group ethos The focus for any additional sessions is to provide opportunities for pupils to talk together about being effective learners. Each session will have a clear learning objective that will be shared with pupils. This will focus the work of the group and can be reflected upon in a short plenary session.

In the first session some key ‘group rules’ and boundaries about mutual respect will need to be established. This will enable productive talk, effective listening and tolerance of different opinions. The aim is to create a pleasant and productive experience for learning and a safe space to explore the thoughts, feelings and issues raised. The demands on the tutor in facilitating the group are to keep the talk going through questioning and prompting; drawing all pupils into the discussion in order to improve the learning and attainment of all. The following list contains some ideas that could help in prompting discussion through effective questioning, encouraging productive talk and engagement from learners within the group.

What do you think? Why did you you say that? Why do you think X said that . . . ? Do you agree with that . . . ? Do you mean? Is that how you see it? You seem to be saying . . . Can you help with that . . . ? Think about it think for a minute I’ll come back to you . . . So what could you do . . . ? What would you like to do . . . ? What are you going to do about it now? If you could rewind and do that again, what would you do differently? How did you feel when . . . ? Tell us about it . . . So what did you do then . . . ? So what happened . . .? How could you have done it differently? How do you feel now?

3. Targeting setting and target getting Schools often set an extensive range of targets. The intention here is to give learners opportunities to identify some targets by helping them to reflect on a broad range of personal targets that might be relevant to helping them achieve well in school. There is a danger of target overload, so care must be taken to ensure that the full range of targets being expected of the learners is understood by them, is manageable and is appropriate to their personal learning needs. Unless targets are carefully set and regularly monitored, tutorials are likely to have limited benefit to the academic progress of the learners involved. In order for the targets to be monitored learners will be expected to bring evidence of work to demonstrate they have tried to address them. Pupil targets: Some suggested examples My learning: mathematics • To draw graphs/tables/shapes/diagrams neatly and accurately • To work on questions without the use of a calculator • To improve my algebra skills and work on …….. My learning: reading • To improve my ability to read for meaning • To be able to access information from text successfully • To be able to summarise information, taking account of any important details • To be able to select and use relevant information in my learning • To be able to take appropriate notes on the reading that I have done • To be able to read a range of texts, effectively and with enjoyment • To be able to skim and scan a text for information when appropriate My learning: speaking and listening • To be able to give a presentation to a known/unknown audience, taking account of audience and purpose • To be able to listen with concentration and take notes, as appropriate • To contribute effectively to a group discussion • To be able to contribute to a group discussion effectively, in order to ensure that the group reaches a group consensus Organising myself • To hand in all homework on time • To complete homework to the best of my ability • To complete all class work effectively • To use a range of strategies to help me remember information • To use a range of strategies to help me revise for tests and exams