Sixth years' caring side recognised by HMIE

13th March 2009 at 00:00

A peer-mentoring scheme for pupils with additional support needs at Gryffe High, Renfrewshire, has been highlighted as an example of good practice in a recent HMIE report.

It says the system reduced difficulties caused by disruptive behaviour and helped pupils feel safer. There were also signs of improving achievement among S1-2s with more significant support needs.

The scheme was set up by support for learning staff to help S1-2 pupils with difficulties to develop confidence and increase their opportunities for becoming successful. Sixth-year pupils were invited to become mentors and given training by learning support staff. Forty-nine volunteered as readers and scribes for assessments and 51 supported class work across a range of subjects. Senior students also worked as reading partners with younger pupils and some gave more intense mentoring for individuals with more specific needs.

Benefits were felt in classes supported by seniors and younger pupils identified role models they could relate to among the older students. The scheme also meant issues concerning more vulnerable pupils were identified more quickly.

The report highlights that S6 volunteers were eligible for a Millennium Award for contributing to the school's positive ethos and that they demonstrated skills as responsible citizens and effective contributors.

Headteacher John Watson was delighted by the inspectors' recognition of their work and paid tribute to learning assistant Elaine Scally who has taken a leading role in managing the scheme which attracts around 60 per cent of S6 students. "The sixth years love what they are doing and the younger children are very positive about it. We have a number of sixth years who move onto careers working with children, so this is good for their CV's - that they have been doing this work."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today