The Mentor System at Mindarie Senior College
Mindarie Senior College students transition to the College for Years 11 and 12. Most will be leaving smaller institutions where they have felt established for several years. They face two years full of opportunities, challenges, and decision-making regarding their futures.
Each teacher at the College is responsible for mentoring a group of students through their Year 11 and 12 journey. Twice each week, for 30 minutes on each occasion, the Mentor group meets together. Mentors will access attendance, pastoral care and behavioural records for each student, speaking as necessary to each. Early intervention is always important and Mentors have access to a Year Leader, the Student Services team and Senior Administration for support. It is the Mentor’s role to monitor each student’s overall progress, advocate and seek support for the student, or refer on as necessary.
Our Mentoring system provides the vital sense of connection, familiarity and continuity from the outset of every student’s time with us.
The Mentor becomes the person who:
o provides the link with home,
o promotes and monitors well-being and academic progress,
o embodies the core values of the College in embracing the Young Adult ethos, encouraging personal responsibility, assisting in goal-setting, reflection, evaluation and encouraging resilience.
Together the students and Mentor will explore important, non-curriculum topics to allow active and responsible citizenship, and the support to capitalise on the opportunity of a happy, healthy future. Topics include mental wellness, effective study techniques, healthy eating, self-esteem, resilience, career opportunities and online safety.
Prior to a student’s arrival at the College, course selection will have taken place in partnership with a parent or guardian. At this time, fundamental College values and rules will have been explained. A “Life So Far’ of the student’s and family’s ‘biography’ will have been requested and, as they are received in Student Services, important details put on file for staff to access. This allows planning to best-fit the mentor and to allow provision of any specific educational and medical needs. On most occasions, the ‘future’ mentor will make contact with home in the December before the student commences at the College.
On arrival at the College, mentor groups stay together on the first day to promote friendly relationships while the College is explored and systems learned on Orientation Day. The centrality of the Mentor and the group is supplemented a few weeks later by an all-day excursion together with enjoyable group-tasks and a lot of fun.
The Mentor program is planned each year, initially by the Student Services Manager in consultation with the Year Leaders, the Psychologist/Counsellor, the Community Health Nurse and the Chaplain. Recommendations from Mentors are also very welcome. The Plan is then discussed and scrutinised at a College Leadership meeting after which it is ratified for the following year.