Services for children

Learning mentor case studies

Case study 1

Background and issues affecting student:

*James, in year 8, was referred to the learning mentors in November for anger management, lack of self-esteem and motivation issues. He became easily annoyed by pupils in his class and lashes out by throwing things and storming out. James became increasingly aggressive to his peers and defiant towards staff. He is unable to maintain friendships and feels that everyone in his class hates him. He is on report and receiving punishments almost every day.

Strategies used:

  • Identification of key issues with James
  • Discussion of self-awareness, confidence and emotions
  • Looking at triggers to anger and anger management
  • How to form good relationships, making and maintaining friendships
  • Better communication, focusing on positive body language and listening skills
  • Use of a ‘time out’ card for when emotions become too heightened

Outcomes and Suggestions for the Future

James has maintained respect for staff and is achieving more academically. Recent teacher feedback states, ‘always helpful and polite in the group and to myself’ and ‘is keen to learn and tries hard’. James still has some areas for development, such as organisation and communication but his progress is evident. His mentoring sessions have been reduced from once a week to fortnightly. He met 3 out of 4 targets from his action plan and is generally much happier.

Case study 2

Background and issues affecting students:

*Chayenne is in year 10 and had been permanently excluded last summer. Her parents are separated and she has little contact with her father although she is desperate to have more contact with him. She demonstrates inappropriate behaviours such as seeking attention from her male peers, verbally abusive to staff and is prone to unpredictable extreme bouts of anger. She is academically able with an interest in performing arts.

Strategies used:

  • Daily mentoring sessions to discuss issues arising from the previous day or evening. These sessions focus on developing positive relationships, appropriate boundaries and consequences
  • A daily behaviour report
  • Work with attendance officer focused on improving punctuality
  • Referral to school health officer
  • Involvement in craft group and dance lessons
  • Regular contact with home

Outcomes and suggestions for the future:

Chayenne now has more positive interactions with male students. Her punctuality and behaviour are much improved, specifically more control over emotional outbursts. Relationships with staff and peers are improved and she is making more academic progress. Chayenne will stay in regular contact with her mentor to discuss emotional anxieties. She will be more involved in leadership opportunities within school and referred to the counsellor. She will continue to develop her interest in performing arts.

Case study 3

Background and issues affecting student:

*Lewis is a year 7 student with issues around attendance identified in year 6. There is a family history of involvement with social services. Lewis is on the special needs register at school for social, emotional and behaviour difficulties and for a specific learning difficulty.

Strategies used:

  • Met with Lewis on the first day of term to discuss attendance report card (a system that rewards attendance)
  • Lewis was signposted to summer holiday activities to help with home circumstances over the long break
  • Inclusion into the primary transition group to assist in forming friendships
  • Allocation of a ‘buddy’ to Lewis through the peer listening scheme
  • Weekly meetings with the learning mentor to review how the year was progressing

Outcomes and Suggestions for the Future

Lewis has responded extremely well to the systems set in place. Attendance is still an issue although it is greatly improved. He is gaining confidence within the new academic setting and is improving his attainment. LMs will support Lewis on a medium to long-term basis as many of his issues revolve around the family and home. He will be supported and encouraged to take responsibility for himself and his education. Regular contact with his mentor has helped Lewis to remain focused and his improved attendance means that he is performing better in school which, in turn, is helping his confidence.

* names have been changed

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Last updated: 31 Aug 2023