More information about the work of our pupil mentor.
I am a Pupil Mentor, my name is Karen Buckley and I am part of the St John’s school staff, working here in school full time. I'd like to explain to parents my role…..
What is a mentor?
If a child has stopped enjoying school and/or there is something preventing them from learning, I can work with them to find out what is wrong and how things can be changed to enable them to be happy and ready to learn.
When would a mentor support your child?
There may be many reasons why a pupil stops being happy and learning. There could be difficulties within the family at home, a family member may be ill or has died. Parents may be separated or divorcing. They could be finding it difficult to cope in the classroom or finding it hard to make friends.
There are many reasons why your child may be referred to a mentor. My role is very flexible which means I can be available to support your child when they need it most.
What can a mentor do?
First, through being in school I get to know many of the children well- through seeing them in the playground or by seeing them in lessons. Through forming relationships in this way children understand that I am here as a listening ear and someone they might talk to if they have a problem.
Often when a child comes to see me it might be about something that we as adults might feel is relatively insignificant- but for a child is a real problem. I would talk to them, try to reassure them and find out why they are unhappy or worried. Often a chat is enough to help them feel secure.
At other times some problems are more complex and it may be appropriate to spend more time with the child. At this point I would contact you so that we can all work together. It may be appropriate to involve other professionals such as Family Action. In consultation with you I would try to access the best support available.
I may work with children on their own, in a small group or as part of a class. I usually work with a pupil for a set period of time or until they have overcome the problem.
What is said between the Pupil and Mentor is confidential unless the child gives me permission for me to share. If there was a Child Protection issue I would have to share information.
How can I access the school mentor?
School staff may speak to me about a pupil who they think would benefit form my support.
If you as parents/carers have concerns you can come in to see me to discuss how I may be able to help, or by contacting me by telephoning St Johns to discuss appropriate support. I have my own room so I would welcome you coming in to see me to discuss any concerns you may have.
Children can also ask to see me but they would need to talk to their class teacher first. If it was something which could be sorted out easily they could find me at playtime or lunchtime.
I hope that the role of pupil mentor will help pupils at St John’s to ensure they achieve their best and I look forward to working with you.