Student Role Models

Pupils from Holyhead High School and Friars School in Bangor were given a unique insight into university life recently through mentoring sessions by student role models from Bangor.

The programme, run by Bangor University, hopes to encourage pupils to find out about university and to consider it as a possibility for their future. Students and Year 7 pupils who completed the Aspirational Mentoring programme received a certificate in a special celebration at the schools.

Kim Davies from Bangor University Student Services said: “We provide a group of student mentors to act as role models and to run a series of sessions with the pupils once a week for 7-8 weeks. The sessions aim to increase their awareness of post 16 education in general and HE in particular. The students design their own sessions to meet the needs and interests of the pupils they are working with and they typically include games, fun worksheets, mock interviews and discussions.”

The students who took part as mentors also felt that they had gained a lot from the experience.

Eleanor Compton, a third year Biology student at Bangor joined the scheme as she is interested in becoming a teacher. She said: “This is a great way to get work experience if you are thinking of becoming a teacher. The whole experience has been wonderful and I’ve really enjoyed it.”

Peter Salami, a third year Sociology student at Bangor was very happy with the success of the programme. He added: “I’ve really enjoyed having the opportunity to mentor a group of young people and being able to show them the importance of a University education. The interaction with the pupils was the most enjoyable for me and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys spending time with young people.”

Hayley Stephenson, a first year Linguistics student at Bangor, added: “This scheme has been a great learning experience and students can really find out what it takes to work with young people. I now have a better understanding of the skills that I need to become a teacher. It has been great fun but also challenging. I would recommend it to everyone – in fact I have already recommended it to a couple of my friends!”

At the ceremony in Holyhead High School, Head Teacher Mr Martin Wise said: “The scheme helps our pupils to aim higher. I would like to thank the students for their hard work and for giving up their time and to Bangor University for running the scheme.”

Bangor University will be continuing to work closely with the pupils of Year 7 as they move up through the school with other projects which come under the Talent and Opportunities Programme (TOP).

Publication date: 22 March 2012