Students from the University of Aberdeen have successfully completed a volunteering programme which has seen them work as student tutors in primary and secondary schools throughout the north-east.
More than 40 students from the University joined their counterparts at Robert Gordon University (RGU) and North East of Scotland College to take part in the BP Student Tutoring Scheme, which aims to inspire pupils to consider further education options.
The students were presented with certificates of participation from their institutions as well as scheme sponsors BP, Aberdeenshire Council and Aberdeen City Council at BP Headquarters in Dyce last week.
Kate Robertson from the University of Aberdeen's Careers Service, who is a representative on the BP Student Tutoring Steering Group, said: "Once again University of Aberdeen students are major contributors to the scheme, with more than 40 students participating this year.
“Feedback from our student tutors has shown that the scheme has many benefits, including improving their CV, and gaining work experience. They have told us that they have developed their confidence and their communication skills. We feel the scheme is a fantastic part of our co-curriculum which offers students a chance to maximise their employability by developing their skills and attributes."
Joanna Warwick, a Geography student at University of Aberdeen, worked with the Geography department at Northfield Academy.
She said: “I have enjoyed being able to assist with pupils learning and I feel that this experience has heightened my desire to pursue a career in teaching.”
Anastasia Baka, who is originally from Greece and is studying Applied Social Sciences at Robert Gordon University, thoroughly enjoyed tutoring at Ferryhill Primary School.
She said: "Working with kids is an amazing and rewarding experience. The BP Student Tutoring Scheme gave me the opportunity to meet new people, get an inside look at the teaching profession and, most importantly, it gave me the satisfaction of giving something back to the community. Every day was different and exciting, and my help was greatly appreciated."
Brendan Robertson, an HND Advertising and PR student at North East Scotland College tutored at his old primary school in Rathen, Aberdeenshire.
He said: "The experience was great as I got the opportunity to give something back to my old primary school. I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the scheme."
BP Student Tutoring Scheme Co-ordinator, Gayle Scott at Robert Gordon University, said: "The BP Student Tutoring Scheme provides an exceptional volunteering opportunity for north-east students who are keen to work with children; sharing their enthusiasm and passion for their subject and developing their communication, leadership and team work competencies.
“We were delighted this year to have an increase in school requests, particularly from a number of Aberdeenshire primary schools which have not participated before and to have our regular schools on board who year after year benefit from tutors in class.”
Stephen Smith, Student Adviser (Careers & Employability), Institutional Co-ordinator for North East Scotland College and the 2014/2015 Chair of the BP Student Tutoring Steering Group, said: “This year has seen the highest number of students participating in the history of the scheme.
“The students are studying at different levels from a diverse range of courses, however, they all recognise the skills and abilities they can and have developed through their placement based either in a primary or secondary school in Aberdeen City or Aberdeenshire. Feedback from students and schools continue to endorse the scheme and its mutual benefits.”