Students at Queen Alexandra Sixth Form College are providing important support to disadvantaged youngsters and other young people through a pilot maths, literacy and exam preparation partnership.
They are combining their educational skills and experience with special training they have been given, to deliver fun and engaging extra tuition help to pupils across North Shields, aged eight to 18.
Their efforts are part of the work of Success4All, a Newcastle-based education charity which provides affordable tuition and study support via trained local student volunteers.
Established in 2006, it also fights educational inequality by giving access to tutoring, learning resources, clubs and summer schools to those in less affluent areas.
Tuition is being delivered from an IT suite in North Shields, provided by Meadow Well Connected, a charity whose aim is to work positively with the local community to create a thriving environment in which to live, work and play.
The suite provides a relaxed, friendly environment away from the pupils’ schools, helping them to feel happy and to engage with the activities, giving them more confidence when they return to the classroom.
Our students give their support at drop-in sessions which run from 4.30pm to 6pm every Thursday during term time, priced at £2.50 per child.
Meadow Well Connected, in North Shields, which was founded in 1994, is running the pilot programme after winning funding from the RW Mann Trust and Ringtons Foundation, allowing the charity to deliver trained tutors who can work at an affordable price.
The RW Mann Trust was founded in 1957 to mainly help improve the lives of people and communities in North Tyneside, South Northumberland and east Newcastle, with beneficiaries including youth groups, children, people with disabilities, older people, schools, colleges, councils for voluntary service and other advice agencies.
The Ringtons Foundation, part of the famous Newcastle tea company, supports women, families, the elderly, disabled people and those living in disadvantaged areas.
Lee Patterson, Head of Queen Alexandra Sixth Form, Creative and Access Department of Creative, Access to HE and Health, said: “The work our students are doing as volunteers through this project is invaluable to helping some young people in North Tyneside to gain the extra help they need.
“I’m impressed by their willingness to give their time, skills and enthusiasm to an initiative that they clearly see as very worthwhile and which requires a high level of personal commitment.
“It is important that young people who have opportunity are prepared to help and support others who are perhaps less fortunate than themselves.
“Theirs is an example of selfless dedication to an important project. They are a credit to themselves and to this college.”
Kate Carruthers, Success4All’s Learning Hub Coordinator, said: “We are thrilled to be able to pilot Success4All in North Tyneside as this tried and tested model has helped pupils in Newcastle reach their full potential and we want children in North Tyneside to have the same opportunities.”
The pilot has received support from Norham High School and Percy Main Primary School, which are keen to see their students benefit from this new resource.
David Bavaird, Chair of Governors at Norham High School said: “Meadow Well Connected provide great services for local people in Riverside and Chirton and the addition of Success4All can only add to this and help our children achieve their best.”