Tag Archives: student support

the parent HUB

Newcastle University Peer Mentoring is proud to launch the parent HUB.

This hub is aimed for all students who are parents, foster carers, adoptive parents, or about to become parents, regardless of age, gender or sexuality.

The free online hub allows you to share experiences, ask questions and be part of a parenting community within the university. There will be trained university wide peer mentors as part of the network to offer one-to-one support and guidance, as well as answer any question in the discussion board.

The hub will be based on Microsoft Teams and is an excellent source of advice and support from like-minded, empathetic and patient peers.

There will be a schedule of face-to-face activities for you to meet up with other parents, ask questions, have a chat, share your experiences and support you through the balance of being a student and a parent. And for those of you unable to attend these, there will also be a range of ZOOM online conference activities to allow you to meet new parents and be able to engage in conversation as though you were in the same room from the comfort of your own home.

The parent hub will also allow you to share, lend, borrow, give, donate, sell, and buy those much needed pieces of equipment and clothing via the online discussion group.

The files section of the hub will allow the University to share useful information and documents with you – as well as members of the network being able to upload documents as well.

There will be the opportunity to share your experiences of child-friendly shops, restaurants, taxi companies, as well as provide some top tips of baby-changing facilities in the University and city, and baby feeding friendly places.

To join the parent HUB please email Tony Chapman-Wilson at peer.mentoring@newcastle.ac.uk now.

There will be the official launch of the parent HUB at an activity event on Wednesday 17 April 2019 between 11am and 2pm. This will take place in the Lindisfarne Room in the Hadrian’s Building opposite the Bedson Building and Boiler Room.

There will be refreshments and activities for the children, as well as the opportunity for you to meet other parents. There will be a child feeding room available, as well as the opportunity to speak to members of the University Peer Mentoring scheme and Student Health and Wellbeing Services.

Come along at any point during the event and sign up for the parent HUB on the day as well.

Peer Mentoring Thank You Event 2018

Peer Mentoring Thank You Event 2018

Peer mentors from across the University gathered at the Lindisfarne Room on Monday 26 November 2018 to celebrate another successful year of the peer mentoring scheme.

Peer Mentors and Staff Coordinators were invited to this celebration as a thank you from the University following another excellent start to the academic year with new students being supported and encouraged as they started their journey on their chosen programme of study and made the transition into Higher Education. These students (the mentees) were invited to provide their opinion of the scheme and to share the many benefits they had experienced as a result of having a peer mentor:

“Explained clearly what it was like from a student perspective and what I should expect to know and learn and how to do so.”

Continue reading Peer Mentoring Thank You Event 2018

PGT Peer Mentoring Task and Finish Group

We are looking to introduce further pilot schemes in regards to PGT buddy/mentoring within the University.

An email invitation was sent to Senior Tutors and Peer Mentoring staff coordinators to volunteer to join a Task and Finish Group to consider the best way forward regarding the launching of these pilots. If anyone would like to become a member of this group please contact Tony Chapman-Wilson, the University Peer Mentoring Coordinator for further details at Tony.Chapman-Wilson@Newcastle.ac.uk.

UKAT Annual Conference 2018 – Workshop: Losing ‘oneself’: Autonomy and wellbeing in tutorial innovations

Workshop 4: Losing ‘oneself’: Autonomy and wellbeing in tutorial innovationsDr Mark Tymms – De Montfort University – and Prof. John Peters

Human beings can be proactive and engaged, or passive and alienated. There needs to be an understanding of the perception of ourselves as people. Within anything there needs to be an intrinsic motivation as it needs to be for ‘us’. Tutoring can add to the problem that we are trying to remedy. Everyone has innate growth motivations creating intrinsic motivation, however tutorial systems may not always allow for this to happen. Continue reading UKAT Annual Conference 2018 – Workshop: Losing ‘oneself’: Autonomy and wellbeing in tutorial innovations

Claire Burnham – Peer Mentoring

In light of the growing success of the University’s peer mentoring programme, Newcastle has appointed a new co-coordinator for the scheme, based in LTDS.

Claire Burnham
Claire Burnham

Claire Burnham began her new role in August and is already involved in helping to support the scheme more widely across the University.

She said: ‘I’m really looking forward to getting going with the programme. It’s going to be very exciting meeting the new mentors and helping to deliver some of the training.’

The programme trains and supports second and third year students to offer help and advice to first years as they begin their studies.

Each mentor works with a group of students in his or her school and a coordinator in their school or unit supervises the project and acts as a point of contact for mentors needing extra support or advice.

A Newcastle alumnus, with a degree in Psychology, Claire is very aware of the importance of getting it right in helping students to transition between school and higher education.

She said: ‘It’s such a great way of supporting students in making the transition to University, having a mentor who has already been through it and can offer support and advice.’

The programme offers full training to all mentors, equipping them with the skills to help new students but also with transferrable skills which will help them to enter the world of work.

As well as arranging and supporting training for peer mentors across the University, Claire is also responsible for making sure that the mentor’s achievements are celebrated.

She said: ‘We will be running, as we have done in previous years, awards for the best mentor in each faculty as nominated by their mentees.’

The awards get presented in a special event to be held at the Great North Museum: Hancock Museum on 5 December.

‘There is also an award for the best coordinator. So the event marks a great chance for mentors and coordinators to get together and celebrate a good job well done.’

If you would like help with training and supporting student mentors in your school or have any questions about the Peer Mentoring Scheme, you can email Claire on claire.burnham@ncl.ac.uk.

Do you have a particularly novel approach to Peer Mentoring School? Get in touch with us on ltds@ncl.ac.uk and tell us about it.

 

STAR CASE STUDY: Transition Officer in School of Computing Science

Laura Heels graduated from Computer Science at Newcastle in 2013 and now helps other students in the school to negotiate undergraduate study.

As Transitions Officer, Laura provides support across the board, from assisting with practicals and study skills to providing a sympathetic ear and a shoulder to cry on.

Working with other staff, such as the Senior Tutor Marie Devlin and Nick Cook, Laura is the first port of call for many first years struggling with the adjustment from School to University and even from another country to the UK.

Laura said ‘I was so lucky when I was here, and I wasn’t the most academic student, I received so much support from staff like Marie, Lindsay and Nick and now I’m able to provide that myself.

‘Because I’ve been through all this and, I think, because I’m closer to their age, I seem a bit more approachable.’

Laura provides a range of academic and pastoral support for the students running sessions to help students with elements of the course they find most difficult, or which present the biggest departure from the subjects they studied at school.

‘We wanted to address the retention rate in the School and had found in previous years that a great many students were dropping out before the first year exams because they were struggling with programming or with the maths elements of the course.

‘I now run a weekly session to help students with their programming skills, which is something that many of them haven’t done before, and I also give them practical help with maths and with writing skills as well.

‘I’m present in all of their practical sessions too, so they know they will see me and can ask me questions or arrange a meeting if they need a chat.’

Laura had some problems herself as an undergraduate in the School: ‘I’m not really very academic, in my own stage 1 at university I was diagnosed with dyslexia, which made university very tricky for me.

‘So I’m very well-versed in the sort of problems students face. Often I refer the students on to student wellbeing, but I am the first port of call for them if they have a problem.’

As well as her academic and pastoral duties, Laura also works in widening participation, going out to Schools to talk to students about studying Computer Science at Newcastle.

Of course, Laura’s busiest time is Welcome Week and she likes to run some social events to help the students meet staff in a less formal setting:

‘We go bowling, to Lane 7 and staff come along if they can, last year the Head of School came and it was just nice for students to interact socially with the people teaching them.’

Laura’s position has really benefitted the School. In a questionnaire circulated last year 100% of students said that they felt welcome when they joined the School, 100% said that they had had positive contact with Laura.

Laura said: ‘I do think that having someone like me would benefit Schools across the University, even just helping academic staff with organising things like summer schools, welcome weeks and visit days, all of which I do here.

‘To be honest, if they did, I’d want to help train them, I’ve learned so much since I started.’

Is there an example of innovative or good practice in teaching in your school? Email Katherine.cooper@ncl.ac.uk. For this and to read about other great teaching ideas have a look at our case studies database.