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  • Writer's pictureNatasha at Jacari

Jacari starts peer tutoring at Bristol High School

We’re excited to launch a brand new project this month - peer tutoring, where A-level students tutor and mentor younger EAL children at their school.

We've started this project by setting up peer tutoring at Montpelier High School in Bristol, where 18 of their year 12 A-level students have volunteered to support younger pupils in their school. They will help their tutee gain English language skills, settle in at school and act as a mentor to them.

Who is involved

The pupils all use English as an additional language and most are newly arrived refugees from Afghanistan and Ukraine with little or no English. Many of the volunteers are also from EAL backgrounds so they can relate to their younger tutees experience of arriving in the UK and learning English. This project is a fantastic opportunity for them to increase their confidence and mentoring skills, as well as valuable experience as they apply for college or university.

A-level students at Montpelier High receiving training from Jacari Coordinators

Training and support

Jacari's Coordinators ran a fun training session for the volunteer peer tutors, teaching them how to support a newly arrived EAL student and giving them some tutoring skills. We also supported them in their first tutoring session. Anna, our Senior Coordinator, said "all the peer volunteers were nervous but did a brilliant job getting to know their tutees!"

Peer tutors will meet their tutee twice a week for short sessions, working their way through a specially-designed programme, with different vocabulary topics each week, helping increase the words they'll need for everyday school life. Thank you to our trustee, Katy Isaac, and Catherine Brennan from Better Bilingual for their help creating this programme.

Future plans for the project

This is a new way of working for Jacari but we’re really excited about how impactful it could be and we are already in discussions with other high schools about rolling out peer tutoring for their pupils. If it proves successful, it will be the opportunity for us to increase our capacity and reach many more young people with EAL. It will also help schools cope with the many new EAL pupils they currently have who need extra EAL support.

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