What the research is telling us...
The results of a longitudinal study by Possell et al., (2013) affirms that students who experienced a supportive relationship with their teachers reported fewer depressive symptoms – this was especially true for those students in Stage 4 and 5 experiencing stressful life events.
Pössel, P., Rudasill, K., Sawyer, M. G., Spence, S. H., & Bjerg, A. C. (2013). Associations Between Teacher Emotional Support and Depressive Symptoms in Australian Adolescents: A 5-Year Longitudinal Study. Developmental Psychology
Purpose - to build structures that support students and staff to work in a collaborative relationship to address concerns regarding learning, work and wellbeing.
As part of our focus on Wellbeing, we have developed a Learning Mentor programme at Xavier High School. Research tells us that students who experience a sense of connection with a significant adult outside of the home are more likely to reach positive outcomes. At Xavier, we believe that “every child deserves a champion” and this approach is one way in which we can ensure that all students engage with and are offered support and guidance by a staff member. Students and staff engage in structured conversations that explore learning goals, social interactions, challenges and obstacles that may prevent learning and student achievements. These are discussed and recorded in a one on one conversation, allowing students and staff to recognise what is currently working well, where support may be required and how students and staff can work together to achieve that support. Importantly, this allows the growth of a trusted relationship between the student and the Learning Mentor in order to better facilitate continued growth in all areas of the student’s education. These Learning Mentor times are built into our timetable, making use of our extended sessions that occur weekly, with an average of six sessions per term being dedicated to Learning mentor conversations.
What are the benefits?
Student/mentor relationships are being built and offer students a further option for a trusted conversation about learning, growth and wellbeing.
Students are actively engaged in a focus on their learning and their wellbeing.
Teachers are more easily aware of the needs, goals, challenges and achievements of individual students.
Provision for accountability for student achievement and growth in focus areas.