My year mentoring at a school, taught me so much
Catherine is studying BA Sociology at Coventry University and is spending her third year as a Volunteer Mentor with City Year UK in a local Coventry secondary school, allowing her to put what she has learned so far into practise.
“The great thing about the placement with City Year UK is that it aims to accentuate your strengths and skill set. I was placed with the inclusion team at my placement school in Coventry to support pupils with Autism, meaning I predominantly work in a classroom that provides additional support and a calming environment for pupils to drop in if they feel overwhelmed in a lesson, as well as timetabled personal learning sessions. This gives me an interesting and varied timetable, with opportunities to propose new ideas. I had the opportunity to create a short programme about regulating emotions for pupils, positively impacting the pupils emotional wellbeing.
I also mentor focus list pupils daily by checking on their health and wellbeing, assisting them with difficult schoolwork, and encouraging them to think about their future prospects. They have given me a lot of responsibility allowing me to be able to apply knowledge acquired from my degree in a real-world context.
There have been many great opportunities to challenge myself outside my role. These included public speaking events, planning Social Action days, and establishing professional relations with my team and the rest of my cohort. I am gaining valuable experience of working in a school during the week, and dedicated sessions on personal and professional development through the Leadership Development days we have every Friday.
I have learned and accomplished so much on the placement and am so grateful that I have been able to both develop myself and support young people. Being a volunteer mentor is incredibly fulfilling and the impact unforgettable.”