Someone to talk to when the budgie dies

28th May 2004 at 01:00
Learning mentor Grant Bryce-Stephen says he and his team at Yewlands school act as "a sponge for problem behaviour".

Reports of misbehaviour by 11 to 14-year-old pupils at the Sheffield technology college have fallen by around 45 per cent in the last year, largely thanks to the three mentors.

Mr Bryce-Stephen spends part of his day having one-to-one chats with pupils and the rest organising group workshops to help students tackle matters from low self-esteem to bereavement.

The personal chats can be harrowing. "Pupils talk to us about everything, from their budgie dying to family break-ups to child abuse," he said.

The mentors also run a Duke of Edinburgh award programme and another similar activity scheme twice a week. In one group, five of the 16 pupils are on their final warning before permanent exclusion.

If pupils misbehave they have to miss the activities. "We've had pupils breaking down in tears because they can't take part," Mr Bryce-Stephen said.

"To see these young people just fitting in at school in a normal way is amazing for us because we feel we've turned them around."

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now