St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School has once again been recognised for its innovation, named one of Australia’s most innovative schools for its introduction of a progressive Mentoring Program which is preparing students for their future careers.
The program gives Years 11 and 12 students the opportunity to be matched with appropriate mentors from the St Margaret’s alumni community in the field they are aspiring to study or enter into when they graduate.
What sets the program apart is its disciplined structure and the fact its highly personalised to each student.
The mentees meet with their mentors virtually four times a year, and after each session, students are supported by specialist school staff to reflect on their session and prepare for the next. Mentors are sought out based on the career pathways students are intending to pursue.
Principal Ms Ros Curtis said the voluntary program, which is unique for a secondary school, has had tremendous uptake in its first six months.
“It has been encouraging to have more than a quarter of students across the Years 11 and 12 cohorts sign up to be matched with a mentor this year, and we are anticipating this number will increase next year.
“The response from our Alumni has also been extremely positive with many mentors finding the program resonated with them as a way of giving back to their school and stewarding future industry colleagues,” Ms Curtis said.
The program engages alumni who graduated between 1992 and 2017, which means their career journeys are relatable to students and their workplace experience is contemporary.
It also identifies the many different pathways within an industry or profession where, for example, being a lawyer can lead to many different types of careers.
The process can also uncover that possible career considerations were not what was imagined, and choices can be rethought.
This is the fourth Innovative Award recognition for St Margaret’s with the school also receiving the award in 2018, 2019 and 2020.