Following on from their trip to Roehampton University, students from Riversdale and High View Primary Schools graduated from their Primary School Mentoring Programme in pure style.
The key note speaker was BBC News Presenter and Mosaic Ambassador Mishal Husain. Having heard the BBC4 Women’s Hour feature on mentoring in primary schools in June, Mishal was extremely keen to be part of the graduation programme and the students were beyond excited to meet her! Mishal commented: “It was a special moment for me as an Ambassador to see the Mosaic programme in action and hear from graduating children about what they had learned.”
Wandsworth Council hosted the graduation at their beautiful town hall within the Council Chambers as both schools fall within their borough. Councillor Kathy Tracy and John Johnson, Assistant Director of Children’s Services in Wandsworth, welcomed the assembled guests, students, mentors and teachers before the graduation ceremony kicked off.
Riversdale School has been participating in the Primary School Programme for the past three years, and were treated to a once-in-a- lifetime visit to Clarence House before beginning the programme this year. High View are new to the programme and have participated in the boys pilot of the programme which has been extremely successful.
Commenting on the graduation and the successful pilot, Regional Manager for London Saira Sadique said: “We are so proud of all of our primary school students who go through the programme and graduation time is always emotional. This year is particularly significant as we have been piloting the programme with boys for the first time and the results have been amazing.”
Both school’s students gave presentations to the assembled audience which included mentors, teachers parents and speakers and were then presented with certificates to mark their achievements.
Amy Roberts, Lead Teacher at Riversdale Primary School commented: “Our students found the whole experience of Mosaic opened up their eyes to their own future. Children who had never thought about their pathway in life began to discuss steps they could make towards their education future. They also said that the activities enabled them to develop in self belief and confidence. Our mum who took part said the sessions enabled her to learn so much more about her daughter. She said before she thought she knew her daughter well, but she found out so much more about her that now she knows she knows her daughter well. having the mentors come into the sessions brings a new energy into school life.”
John Johnson from Wandsworth Council commented: “When Mosaic approached the Council about a pilot piece of mentoring work with primary schools, particularly focusing on girls and their parents, we thought that this had great potential. We asked our primary headteachers and were delighted when Highview and Riversdale put themselves forward. Talking to the children at the ceremony, it was clear that the mentoring has raised the children’s aspirations and boosted their self-confidence – as was evident when they stood up and spoke to the whole audience. This is certainly something which we would wish to do again and to promote more widely with other Wandsworth schools.”
There were also speeches from Paul Bellamy, a long standing Mosaic mentor who volunteered on the boys pilot at High View School and Muna Sadique who has been volunteering on the Primary School Programme for the past three years. After the official ceremony the students and guests were treated to a delicious lunch, which included pretty cup cakes that the students loved!
Jonathan Freeman, National Director at Mosaic who compared the event commented: “It has been a real pleasure to be a part of today. Every graduation is special, but this graduation also marks the successful completion of our pilot of the Primary School Programme with boys. To date, we have worked only with young girls and their mothers as we felt that this approach best served the individuals and communities we wanted to impact on. By successfully introducing boys into the programme, we can now look forward to widening the positive effects we are celebrating here today.”
Mosaic London is now recruiting mentors to support programme delivery commencing in the autumn term. Anyone interested in becoming a mentor should contact Anu.Atewologun@bitc.org.uk