Year 7 pupils from Duke's Aldridge Academy in Tottenham have been taking part in a mentoring programme to build their confidence as they make the transition to secondary school.

The Challenge Mentoring programme which is facilitated by Inspire! Education Business Partnership, and supported by Linklaters, gives small groups of students the opportunity to make weekly visits to Linklaters offices in the city of London where they meet individually with a Linklaters volunteer mentor.

At these weekly meetings students can discuss the challenges they may be facing at school, such as making new friends, planning a homework schedule or presenting in an assembly.

Linklaters volunteers offer the students practical support and help them to realise that the firm, and others like it, operate in an environment that they can feel comfortable in and aspire towards.

All the participants agreed that Challenge Mentoring helped them to develop their confidence and feel more motivated to learn, and this could be seen in the excellent final presentations that students delivered to a large room full of classmates, teachers, family members and Linklaters employees.

"It has improved my confidence and public speaking", one student stated.

"I was able to express myself to my mentor and she was able to help me a lot", said another.

My pupils became more focused in school and are now more confident. They have learnt how to behave in a professional setting and to speak to adults who are unfamiliar to them.

Teachers from Duke’s Aldridge Academy agree the programme had a positive impact on the students. "My pupils became more focused in school and are now more confident", said a Year 7 teacher,

"they learnt how to behave in a professional setting and to speak to adults who are unfamiliar to them."

Inspire!, with support from Linklaters, are continuing to deliver Challenge Mentoring throughout the 2018/19 academic year with students from Duke’s Aldridge Academy.

Linklaters have signed up to the Tottenham Charter. If your business would like to get involved find out more here.