Wakefield-based employees from KCOM Group have been giving up their time to support children at Hunslet Moor Primary School in Beeston, Leeds. The team has been visiting the school weekly to give kids the opportunity to develop key skills.
The team are focused on two areas: helping improve literacy through a reading programme and providing mentoring to help children to think about and plan for their future.
Volunteers on the readership programme provide one-to-one support to year four children (aged eight and nine) by listening to them reading and asking questions about the books. On the mentoring programme, the children get the opportunity to map out their own goals and targets and their mentor helps them to develop skills they need to achieve them.
Narinder Gill, Head Teacher at Hunslet Moor, said: “KCOM’s commitment to an innovative partnership with Hunslet Moor Primary has enabled many children to benefit from mentoring and support with their reading. These sessions have helped pupils build positive relationships with role models from across the community. We’ve seen the biggest impact on children’s engagement, confidence and progress in their learning. The key to the success of the scheme is undoubtedly down to the sustained commitment of both individuals from KCOM Group and the organisation as a whole.”
As well as the children gaining the benefits of the programme the team from KCOM feel they’ve also had a chance to develop their skills.
Claire Palmer, a member of the Marketing team, who supported the reading programme said: “Being a volunteer at Hunslet Moor is really rewarding, I knew I’d enjoy the experience of seeing the children learn and develop. The programme has given me the opportunity to learn new leadership skills and encouraged me to give help based on my own experience.”
Kristel Graham, one of KCOM’s legal team, who took part in the mentoring programme said: “When I’m mentoring the children I try to use interactive ways to prepare them for their new start at high school. We’ve gained their trust over time, and have come to build great relationships. Their behaviour has notably improved and, after seeing what can be achieved by sharing their goals and aspirations, they are proud to be getting better marks.”
Following on from the success of the first term, the scheme has been extended to a year long programme.
The programme forms part of the on-going partnership between Hunslet Moor Primary School and KCOM Group. The business provides continual support and is a member of the Hunslet Moor Corporate Partnership.