All Year 11 pupils are involved in the school's mentoring programme. This is designed to help them to improve their study skills, make targets and prepare for the GCSE exams. This page gives details of the scheme for parents to read and to discuss with your sons/daughters. The Year 11s will meet with their mentor three times throughout the year for a one-to-one meeting of about twenty minutes and the guidelines for the sessions are listed below.

Session 1 - During October

Ideas for Discussion

  • Ensure pupils understand the aim of the mentoring process. This is to help support them academically and pastorally over this important year.
  • Explain that meetings are a two way process, confidential and that the mentor should be seen as part of an advice / support system.
  • Discuss Year 10/11, progress grades using the interim report and 4 matrix. Use the spreadsheet of academic concerns due to school closure to highlight any subjects that are concerned.
  • Discuss reasons/issues for grades being lower than predictions – why/what are they going to do to raise the grade.
  • Please note that a pupil should aim to match aspirations with target grades.
  • Discuss post-16 intentions.
  • Have an early discussion about the importance of distributed revision – start early take mocks seriously.
  • Set some achievable targets for your next meeting. Typical examples include completion of homework/coursework on time, a high attendance percentage or speaking to VB/JL about career / course options.
  • Handling return to routine. Diet (nutrition), sleep, work patterns. Any changes, readjustments? Any improvements possible.
  • Key date: Mock Exams 1st Nov – 12th Nov

Session 2 - During January

Ideas for Discussion

  • Discuss their recent mock examinations/ new progress grade for each subject.  Use 4Matrix.
  • If they are underachieving – why?  What are they going to do about it?
  • How will they bridge the gap?  What are they going to do that is different?
  • Discuss post 16 options.  What have they planned? If they need careers support then speak to Vicky Bull/ Jill Lewis to arrange a meeting.
  • If they do want to come to our 6th form, on recent data, would they have a place?
  • The entry criteria for Balcarras pupils: 2 6’s, 3 5’s which should include Maths and English at Grade 5.
  • Each subject has their own entry criteria, often a 6 or higher required.
  • Please also have a discussion about how they are feeling; are they coping with the workload? Reiterate work/life balance.
  • Important dates coming up
  • January 13th – 6th form opening evening 7pm – 9pm.  Encourage them to go.
  • February 4th – deadline for applications to Balcarras 6th form

Session 3 - By Easter

Ideas for Discussion

  • Discuss revision again /have they devised a timetable?  Have they started?
  • Do they know what revision works best for them?
  • A copy of a revision timetable can be found on the VLE for students to use along with the PowerPoint on revision skills.
  • Discuss revision support in school, are they attending revision sessions?
  • Encourage pupils to talk to subject staff for clarification of content if topics not understood.
  • If you are willing, make yourself available on a much more informal basis and encourage drop-ins during break or lunch.
  • Discuss predicted grades.  If they are underachieving – why? 
What have they done since the last meeting to bridge the gap?  What are they going to do that is different that will make them obtain their target grade?

For information  about mentoring  please email Mr Gary Towers

For issues regarding your son/daughter's specific progress please email