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Mentor Period

The central purpose of Mentor Period is to contribute to each students’ personal development across their time at Highworth, in line with the school’s REACH ethos. As part of the vertical tutoring system this will include developing each student's identity as part of their Learning Community.

Mentor Period is conducted on a daily basis for 25 minutes. Each Mentor Group is led in an activity by their Mentor, which follows a planned termly overview, to ensure consistency of student experience across each Learning Community. Students are expected to participate in these sessions as they would in any lesson.


Aims of Mentor Period

Core Aims of Mentor Period

Reflective, creative and innovative

To explore issues in the wider world in order to become more informed of relevant community, national and global events

Eager for life-long learning

To develop character traits that enable students to be resilient in the face of obstacles such as leadership, initiative, responsibility and problem solving

Aiming to achieve their full potential

To establish and re-evaluate ambitious goals of both an academic and personal nature in order to encourage self-reflection and self-discipline

Considerate, confident, independent individuals

To develop positive relationships with peers across different ages, growing the necessary skills to collaborate with and learn from others

Happy in a caring, respectful community

To participate in Learning Community and whole-school activities, contributing positively to the wider life of the school, and encouraging others to do so


Content of Each Session

The content for each session is part of a fortnightly theme, decided by the Directors of Learning. Students may also contribute to Mentor Period content through their roles as Prefects, Peer Mentors or as part of the Student Equality Team.

Themes will draw on broader PSHE themes of Living in the Wider World, Relationships and Health and well-being.  As indicative examples, themes may be based on: global awareness days e.g. World Oceans Day; school events e.g. anti-bullying week; supporting mental and physical well-being; our school’s SIRIUS Careers programme; promoting cultural diversity e.g. Black History Month or school culture days.


Mentor Themes for 2022-23

A document with full details of the Mentor Period planning can be accessed here.

Term 1: Health and Wellbeing

Term 2: Relationships

Term 3: Living in the Wider World

Fortnight

Knowledge Focus

Knowledge Focus

Knowledge Focus

1

Reconnect

  • To bond Mentor Groups together at the start of the academic year

  • To learn who their support teams are in school

  • To understand the purpose of Vertical Mentor periods

  • To learn about one another in order to begin creating a positive group identity

This is us (past experience of what makes you you)

  • To explore current themes relating to war and the damages of it (Remembrance)

  • To reflect on how people’s opinions affect who we are (Anti-Bullying Week)

  • To explore definitions of family, including in school, and how we are impacted by these relationships

Blast from the past

  • To explore life in the past and grow appreciation of things in the present

  • To reflect on the positives and negatives of the past and the present 

  • To devise ideas for positive change in the future

Metacognition

  • To explore how to effectively prepare for learning before a lesson

  • To evaluate how to engage in a lesson in order to allow learning to happen

  • To reflect on research about how to learn and review work independently

Invisible Strengths

  • To analyse, adapt and renew personal strengths, including exploring opportunities for using them

  • To support others in identifying and using their strengths

  • To build positive thinking about themselves and share tools with others for achieving the same

Life according to (LC)

  • To explore and research what life will be like in the future

  • To grow in confidence in presenting to others

Role Models: Black History Month

  • To explore and learn about the lives and contributions of black role models throughout history

Winter Wonderland

  • To explore different cultural responses to the season of winter and learn from varied practices around the world

Careers and the cost of living

  • To learn about the cost of living in the present day (including tax, mortgages and bills) and grow awareness of costs and budgeting

  • To reflect on how money in the past has been spent in comparison with the present

  • To gain awareness of careers and how salary influences job choices and pathways into jobs

4 (Half)

Groundforce

  • To understand the value of being outdoors 

  • To learn about our school partner: Nine Acres Farm

  • To plan their participation in the Highworth Flower Show June 2023 (Inter-community competition)

   

 

  Term 4: Relationships

Term 5: Health and Wellbeing

Term 6: Living in the Wider World

Fortnight

Knowledge Focus

Knowledge Focus

Knowledge Focus

1

Get set, GO!

  • To explore the variety of clubs and opportunities that are available in school

  • To consider barriers and opportunities in the local area for teenagers to get involved in

The Teenage Brain

  • To understand the workings of the teenage brain and how this impacts teenage life

  • To explore the effect of sleep and hormones on the brain

Safety!

  • To learn about safety and security in a global context, such as food and water safety

  • To learn about responsibilities in public spaces and how these are enforced, such as the Highway Code

  • To reflect on street safety and how/when to intervene safely

When I grow up

  • To explore the themes relating to National Careers Week 2023

  • To celebrate International Women’s Day and explore issues relating to equality for women across the globe

Giving

  • To explore the meaning of generosity across diverse cultures

  • To learn about volunteering opportunities in the local area and share personal experiences

  • To celebrate gratitude and a spirit of thankfulness in the wider school community


 

Contemporary Issues

  • To become more informed of relevant community, national and global events

 

*23 June: (SFE) International Day of Engineering

Perception vs Reality

  • To explore our individual sense of self and identity 

  • To reflect on the various ‘realities’ presented online, including fake news and conspiracies, and how to respond to these

  • To understand how to create an online presence based on reality, and explore how this can affirm others

Fitness for Yourself

  • To explore the psychology of self-motivation

  • To learn about the benefits of physical activity for yourself and opportunities for this

  • To explore feelings of fear of failure

  • To challenge yourself out of your comfort zone

Our Local Community

  • To explore the history of Ashford and become proud of its buildings, services and people

  • To explore enrichment opportunities for the summer at home and away

4 (Half)

   

(Extension of previous fortnight due to session disruption - no Mentor Period on Rounders Day, Sports Day or final day)


The Role of the Mentor

The role of the Mentor is to facilitate each student's personal development across their time at Highworth, in line with the school’s REACH ethos. Being a Mentor is a key part of our vertical tutoring Learning Community system whereby personal development is encouraged through learning from and collaboration with others.