26 March 2021

This week Year 12 students were presented with certificates of participation for our partnership academic coaching programme. Over 80 students from Abingdon, Radley, John Mason, Larkmead and Fitzharrys took part in the programme. The first part consisted of 4 weeks of leadership training with Oxfordshire Youth, followed by 3 weeks of coaching training by colleagues at Desborough College. Coaches focused on learning how to have a ‘coaching conversation’ with their coachees. This followed a model that supports participants to reach specified goals through weekly supportive and guided conversations with a coach. The Year 12 coaches showed resilience, commitment and enthusiasm for the role and took their coaching responsibilities seriously.

Online coaching sessions with Year 9 and 10 students from across the town provided great opportunities for both coach and coachee. Feedback has been collected and the results are positive. One Abingdon coach said it has been ‘very enjoyable and has given me a new view on what it takes to be a leader’. A partner school coach said ‘I really enjoyed the experience. I would highly recommend it to others as it gives you skills which you can’t be taught in a classroom and can only learn in the sessions.’ Staff from partner schools have been involved in the facilitating of these sessions and one commented ‘very good collaborative event, with real evidence of impact on students.’ It has been a truly collaborative experience for all involved, showing 73% of survey respondents would strongly recommend coaching to a friend or colleague. One comment from a coachee was ‘I really enjoyed the coaching, it gave me something to look forward to and also get me working harder.’ Positive relationships were formed and students took part in a mutually beneficial partnership programme, gaining skills that will benefit them in their studies, future employability and in developing conversations with peers and teachers.

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