It is a fun and interactive program which incorporates leadership training for older students and a supportive environment for younger students. While one of the primary goals of the program is to help Year 7 students achieve a smooth transition into the new environment of Secondary school, it has equally important benefits for the older Peer Support student leaders, such as:
- providing opportunities to develop and practise leadership skills which can be utilised in other areas (eg. in their employment, their sports team, in future school senior leadership positions)
- assisting students in gaining skills which are highly regarded by employers
- developing their confidence, increases interpersonal skills and improves personal relationships
- providing opportunities to demonstrate initiative
- developing organisational and time management skills
- enhancing relationships within their social circles, their year group and across the school.
How It Works
In pairs, Year 10 students act as Peer Support leaders to a small group of Year 7 students (8-10). Sessions are conducted once or twice a week for Term 1, and then once a week for Terms 2 and 3, usually during extended homeroom time on Tuesdays. Dedicated Peer Support Teachers provide briefing, debriefing, supervision and support for the student leaders at all times. The activities designed for Year 7 students are based around things such as:
- creating a safe and caring school environment
- developing skills for positive, socially responsible participation in the school community
- developing a sense of self, building self-esteem and resilience
- developing competencies which enhance the quality of the students' relationships with others
- communication, making friends and solving friendship conflicts or other social problems
- getting to know your way around, how to be organised and stress management.
By developing skills through these focus areas, students build social and leadership skills that carry them into adult life, and we can achieve a positive school culture that supports the wider community. The Year 7 Camp in Term 1 provides a further opportunity for the Year 10 leaders and the Year 7 students to develop positive relationships and a sense of connectedness and resilience. Students who are currently in Year 9 are encouraged to discuss their involvement with their parents and are invited to apply during Weeks 4 - 6 of Term 3. Students will then be supported to prepare for an interview, which is a vital skill in their personal development. Successful candidates will be notified by the end of Term 3, in readiness for the program training in Term 4.
Students who have been successful in their application to be student Peer Support Leaders will attend two training days at the Albury Entertainment Centre on 1st and 2nd November 2018. The purpose of this Peer Leaders’ Training is to prepare students for their leadership role. The training provides students with skills which are transferable across a range of contexts, especially effective facilitation of their Peer Support groups.
“...relationship is key to building a sense of belonging, connection and self efficacy...”
How can I support my child in their leadership role?
Family conversations might involve reference to different kinds of leaders, other areas of their lives that leadership skills will be valuable, community service, and how important it is that there is diversity in the kinds of leaders and role models that young people see. Once they have begun the program, discuss with your child the activities, asking questions about the concepts and understandings they are developing each week. This helps foster a positive connection between school and home. Further information can be found at the Peer Support Foundation website, or you can contact our Student Wellbeing & Academic Coach, Alison Meani by contacting the school.