Peer Support is a tried and established program in Australian schools which has met with considerable success. Versions of it can be found in primary schools, but ours has the specifically secondary emphasis which is also available. It requires trained teachers and trained student leaders.
This course aims to:
• establish a viable and realistic link between older, long-established and newer, not-yet-established student members of the school community.
• hasten the process of settling Year 7s into the school community through their acceptance by and help from senior (Year 11) boys. This settling will be promoted formally (within Peer Support periods) and informally in casual contacts within the school grounds.
• provide opportunity for leadership training for Year 11 boys in a caring role, providing them with the real challenge of managing and interacting with lively Year 7s, answering their questions and helping shape their future. Peer Support Leaders wear a specially designed badge of office.
• promote the aims of social education within the school through addressing a number of significant personal development issues, such as building self esteem, improving communication skills, dealing with bullying, building trust, respect, self-awareness and responsibility.
Peer Support Leaders, 72 in number, were chosen from an application list of over 150 interested Year 10 students. They are allocated to classes, the Year 7s having already been divided into groups of six or seven. Two Peer Support Leaders meet each group on the Year 7 Orientation Day at the start of the year and show them around the school, learning their names in the process. Groups meet each Friday morning between 10.20 am and 10.40 am throughout Semester One. Peer Support Leaders meet with Peer Support Teachers each week to review progress.
After initial getting-to-know-you activities, groups will explore a number of programmed issues of the kind mentioned in the Aims above. For example, Semester One issues will include ‘Building Self-Esteem’, ‘Communication’, ‘Bullies’ and ‘Self-Awareness’. In two more specifically Scotch-related lessons, questions like managing the Tuckshop, Library, absences, lateness, bikes, care of property, Record Book management and uniform will be addressed.
Scotch College: ABN 86 852 826 445 ACN 005 650 395 CRICOS 00624A (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students)