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The Mentoring Programme at ISD provides individual students with a confidant, a companion, a buddy, a supporter, someone who believes in them unconditionally.

Teachers from Reception to Grade 12 can refer for mentoring any student they feel would benefit significantly from individual time with a volunteer parent-mentor or a grade 11/12 mentor. Any student who, for example, shows signs of low self-esteem, or who finds school hard to manage, or who is new to ISD and has associated cultural, language or social challenges, or who doesn’t like to read, or who lacks confidence, or whose behavior is challenging or erratic, or indeed any student who may be gifted or have a special talent or interest that they would benefit from developing.

Mentored students have weekly one-on-one sessions with their mentor either during or after school. Their mentor has been selected through interview with, and is supported throughout their work by Dr. Nicki Lorenzini, the Mentoring Program Coordinator. Mentors are carefully matched with a referred student and coached to use the most appropriate approach with that individual.  They have the chance to receive training in a variety of intervention/mentoring techniques. When with a student, volunteers might play games, they might undertake student initiated projects, they might simply talk with the student, they might write together, read together, do crafts together, explore an interest of the students or practice a language that is new to the student, or they might undertake some basic educational intervention.

Mentors are not pseudo counselors, pseudo learning support teachers or pseudo ESL teachers. They don’t use the same interventions as school staff. They don’t have the same qualifications as school staff. What they do have is time, commitment and empathy for a single student, and the chance to work creatively to enhance the personal growth of that student through a unique and caring partnership.

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