Primary Assertive Mentoring at Barncroft Primary School

 At Barncroft, as part of our vision, we continually aspire to:

  •  Ensure all children make good progress by raising the standards for all children
  • Give all children an outstanding learning experience through motivating and involving  children in their learning and progress
  • Inform and involve parents in their child’s learning and progress
  • Motivate and inspire children, and in doing so, transform their attitudes towards learning and prepare then for the next stage in their education.

There are many things that we do at Barncroft in order to achieve our vision, one of which is ‘Primary Assertive Mentoring’, which was introduced at the school in January 2015 and is now embedded practice in all year groups.

What is Primary Assertive Mentoring?

  • Primary Assertive Mentoring (PAM) rigorously integrates target setting, tracking, mentoring  & checking systems in order to accelerate children’s progress and improve attainment. It is used in many schools around the country, and has proven success at significantly raising attainment and improving children’s attitudes to learning.
  • Assertive Mentoring provides the vehicle for ensuring that target setting, pupil tracking, intervention support systems and monitoring are brought together and wrapped around the child.  The child remains central to the whole process throughout.  
  • Primary Assertive Mentoring is a focussed, child centred, collaborative approach based on a dialogue between the parent, teacher, senior leader and child about the child’s present and future learning needs. It follows a cycle of target setting, tracking, Intervention, Mentoring/Motivating and Checking as shown in this diagram: 

Assertive meetings take place every term (every half term in Y6). Meetings last 15-20 minutes, and take place in a professional space outside of the classroom. The meetings involve parents, the child, the teacher and the school wills strive to ensure a member of the senior leadership team is present at each meeting.

  • Each meeting starts with children reviewing their progress towards previous targets and self-evaluating their attitudes and learning.  An agreed judgement is made from Inadequate to Outstanding.
  • After a review of previous targets, current attainment in each of the following areas is discussed (and new targets set about what they need to learn next):

Reading, Writing, Maths, Foundation Subjects,

Homework, Attendance, Attitude, Uniform, Punctuality, 4C behaviour/British Values

Aspirations/Future Career options

  • In between the Assertive Mentoring meetings, teachers continue to have dialogue with the children about their progress towards their targets, and link this to marking and feedback on their work. The teacher and the child are then quickly able to identify if a child is not achieving their target, is nearly there, is on target or is exceeding their target. Actions are then put in place.

How does Assertive Mentoring benefit children? 

  • All children from the Foundation Stage to Year Six will have greater understanding and ownership of their own targets through the regular use of their own Assertive Mentoring records. 
  • Children become more motivated to succeed and meet their targets when they know there are high expectations that they will achieve them. 
  • Assessment of children’s work becomes even more robust and those children who are not making expected progress are quickly identified and reviewed regularly for appropriate intervention.  
  • Children start to understand how primary education is linked to aspirations and future career options. 

How does Assertive Mentoring enrich the Parent/School Partnership? 

  • Parents and teachers will have a joint understanding of the principles and aims of Assertive Mentoring.  This will enable parents and school to work as a team to ensure every child reaches their full potential. 
  • At the meetings, parents will be given consistent, evidence based judgements regarding each child’s attainment, achievement and attitude.  The child’s Assertive Mentoring records will be used in the discussion. 
  • The dialogue with the teacher can focus in on what additional support and strategies can be undertaken at home to maximise progress for the child.  
  • The daytime meetings have been put in place after feedback from parents on the most convenient times, and also means that each child has longer for the discussion than is possible in a parents evening.

 How does Assertive Mentoring support assessment?

  • Included in Assertive Mentoring system is a robust and rigorous Maths assessment system which assists teachers in making highly accurate assessments of a child’s learning needs in relation to the National Curriculum Age Related Expectations.  This enables teachers to focus their teaching on the gaps in learning to accelerate progress. 

How can parents support their children’s maths learning at home?

  • Know your child’s targets
  • Support them in achieving them
  • Support the school
  • Attend the Mentoring meetings
  • Talk to your child about their next steps in learning
  • Talk to the school about any difficulties you have noticed in their understanding at home.
  • Talk to your child about "what they want to do when they grow up", their aspirations ad goals.

 Where can I find out more about Assertive Mentoring?

  • Please ask your class teacher or make an appointment to see the Deputy Head