The Role of a Learning Mentor
Our wonderful Learning Mentor, Mrs Warrington has been undertaking this newly created role here at The Firs since September and we would like to tell you a little more about some of the wonderful work she does. Learning Mentor sessions are designed to help break down barriers to learning and help children achieve their full potential. They provide the link between academic and pastoral support, ensuring that children can engage more effectively in learning and participation in school life.
Some of the barriers to learning could be for social, emotional, personal or behavioural issues amongst other things such as anger, fears and anxieties. The aim is to try and get to the root of the problem through discussion and activities to support the child and have an effective impact. These issues may be overcome quickly or take several sessions. Mrs Warrington works at the child’s pace so they won’t be rushed and will look at various ways of supporting their Emotional literacy.
What is Emotional Literacy?
Emotional Literacy is a developed awareness of ones own feelings and emotions and also that of other people – empathy.
With support, through the sessions children will develop the ability to recognise their own emotions and how to deal with them. They will learn how to read expressions and the body language of other people too. This is so important for developing self confidence, boosting self esteem, social and emotional development and also encourages self management over impulse reactions.
What does a learning Mentor session look like?
All children are different and so are the Learning Mentor sessions. Generally they are run individually but sometimes small group work is the most effective approach.
Some children are really chatty and often want to talk all about their day, the achievements and the problems. Successes are celebrated and then children are encouraged to talk about anything they aren’t happy about and perhaps explore a way to solve any problems they may be facing. Sometimes the child just needs to be listened to and feel understanding and empathy, quite often just talking about a problem or feeling is all they need.
For children who find talking harder the sessions will start with fun games and questions. This helps build confidence both in themselves and Mrs Warrington. They often ask if they can repeat these in the sessions that follow as they have enjoyed it so much.
This past year has seen many challenges and our children have adapted so well to all the many changes they have had to face. We cannot however, underestimate the impact that has had upon them and Mrs Warrington has been invaluable as we have supported our children to reintegrated back into school life after the disruption Covid-19 has brought.
We have commissioned a special room which has been equipped to become a warm, friendly, sensory space where children feel safe and cosy during their sessions. This room is known as our ‘Den’ (Develop, Encourage, Nurture) and the children have really enjoyed contributing ideas and pictures and to help make the Den a welcoming environment.