Mosaic North West, in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), has hosted the first of this year’s primary school university visits and graduation ceremonies. Twelve girls, their mums, mentors and school staff from St Chrysostom’s Primary School enjoyed a stimulating and challenging day.
The pupils started the Mosaic Primary School Mentoring Programme in October 2013, with mentors and staff supporting the girls and their mums over a nine week period. The programme covered topics such as developing aspirations, positive role models, improving communication, the value of education, career pathways, community engagement and raising confidence. The mentors were Jaime Owen from the Co-operative Group, Joanne Buckley from Business in the Community (BITC) and Somia Qudah-Refai, a local PhD student.
With the support of Peter Riley, widening participation officer and a group of fantastic student ambassadors at the University, the group were treated to an exciting and lively day, including a Question and Answer session with the ambassadors, and a tour of the campus, including the student union, art building and library.
The girls received their graduation certificates from Zaheda Khan, a senior crown prosecutor in the CPS based in Manchester. Zaheda inspired the girls by telling them of her own education and what motivated her to join the legal profession.
Zainab’s mum said: “I haven’t seen the university so it was a good experience. My daughter was so excited that she wants to go to university straight after primary!”
Bronwen’s mum, Amanda, said: “We had a brilliant time at the university. The girls learnt a lot about different courses. The girls had the chance to interview some of the students.”
Sana, Ilsa’s mum, said: “Mums and daughters learnt about future courses, me with some fabulous students who explained the different routes available to them in the future. It made them realise that they should keep going to work further towards their goals and aspirations!”
Jaimy Owen, a mentor for the programme who works at the Co-operative Group, said of mentoring: “It’s a very rewarding experience that takes you out of your usual day job for a few hours a week and gives you the opportunity to meet new and interesting people. It is really interesting to be able to relate to other women from many different backgrounds and work together to support them in inspiring their children to pursue success for themselves in the future.”
Mosaic will be returning to MMU later in the year for the graduation ceremonies of nine more local schools.
Mosaic is always interested in hearing from volunteers for its mentoring programmes. There is a mentor training session on Wednesday 2nd April in central Manchester in preparation for the summer term programme. Please contact Anne Earley for more information.