I am often asked, what are the benefits of mentoring for GCSE and A’level students.
Educating teenagers for over twenty years has taught me three universal truths about achievement:
- The first is that young people begin to flourish when they realise, and then develop confidence in, their own ability and talents.
- The second is that doing well in exams is not only about having natural ability and confidence, but is about knowing how to study, working hard and understanding how to approach examinations.
- The third is the positive role that teachers and mentors can have in facilitating that process.
I remember struggling to learn how to swim. It was undoubtedly connected to my earliest memory of falling into a river and having to be rescued. Fortunately, I had an inspirational headteacher at primary school who saw swimming as a vital life skill and ensured that every child in his school learned to swim … as important as reading and writing. He had his work cut out with me. It took two years of being taught, coached, guided and twice weekly practice before I was confident enough to remove my armbands and swim for a whole width of the pool. It was a magical day. I had the knowledge of how to swim but I needed to have the confidence and self belief in my ability along with practice and understanding of the process before I could succeed. My headteacher was not only my teacher, but my mentor and coach.
Our students come from all backgrounds and have a diverse range of needs. They attend boarding, independent, inner city and leafy lane comprehensive schools. Some are wanting to achieve straight A grades to access Oxbridge or other highly competitive university courses; some are overcoming learning difficulties like Aspergers, dyslexia or dyspraxia; some are wanting to know how to study or approach exams; some are feeling overwhelmed with the examination process or lack motivation. We have no ‘type’ but all experience the benefits of mentoring for GCSE and A’level.
Benefits of Mentoring for GCSE and A’level Students:
- Lifelong skills – John Dunlosky, a professor of psychology and expert on self-regulated learning writes that, “teaching students how to learn is as important as teaching them content, because acquiring both the right learning strategies and background knowledge is important – if not essential – for promoting lifelong learning.” Our students say the study skills they have learned during the mentoring continue to serve them successfully throughout their university courses and into their chosen careers.
- Improved academic achievement – Mentoring is extremely effective for optimising your grades at GCSE and A’level. Typically, our students achieve their aspirational targets and in many cases even higher. All see significant improvement from when they started the mentoring. Mentoring sees improvement across all subjects being studied.
- Better relationships – As the parent of two teenagers, I know from first hand experience, that exam years can be an extremely testing time for parent child relationships. Parents report that their relationships with their teenager going through GCSEs and A’levels improve when they commence the mentoring because they can concentrate on being the parent and not someone who is constantly nagging their child to study.
- A professional support – The mentor not only acts as a professional support to the student, but also to the parent. We are experts who are available to answer questions and assist parents to best support their child.
- A much calmer year – Anyone who has been through GCSEs or A’levels with a teenage child knows how turbulent the year can be. The UK tests sixteen year olds more intensively than any other western nation and it is not unusual to have more than twenty five separate examinations spread over a five week exam period during GCSEs. A’level examinations number less, but university places are reliant on the results and this adds to the pressure. Parents comment on how much mentoring helps the year to be smoother as the mentor helps to alleviate the pressure and the year is better planned.
- Increased confidence and self belief – As the mentoring progresses, students begin to readjust their expectations and set their sights and aspirations higher. Students begin to believe they can achieve those revised goals as they develop the skills to realise them.
These are only some of the benefits of mentoring for GCSE and A’level students. Please read our testimonials to see how mentoring has benefited our students.
Here at www.studentnavigator.co.uk we offer bespoke mentoring for GCSE and A’level students as well as academic coaching in our study and exam preparation programmes. Contact us today to find out how we can support you.