Peer Support program settles new students into Senior School

 

Participants from our Year 7 and Year 11 Peer Support Program reflect on what the program meant to them. 


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"Moving from the Junior School to the Senior School is a huge change, and can be very hard. So the Year 7s were given the opportunity to meet some of the Year 11s that are in their house. The Year 11 Peer Support Leaders are basically like our mentors for the strange new world of the Senior School. They are always there to lend a helping hand, whether it’s a direction to the nearest bathroom or a little help with some hard work.

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Every so often, they will come down to our tutor time, and share hilarious stories, food or just give us some company. They are so caring to absolutely everyone, and as an added bonus, they are a free supplier of brownies and cupcakes!

Everyone is so appreciative to their Peer Support Leaders, and everyone loves it when they come down to see us in Tutor Time. So I speak for everyone when I say this: Thank you, Peer Support Leaders!"

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Peer support is a buddy system used by Abbotsleigh each year to welcome the year 7s and help them adjust to high school. At the end of year 10, the grade participates in two days of training to be peer support leaders, and at the end of the two days, six girls from each tutor are selected to be peer support leaders. Peer support leaders welcomed the Year 7s on their orientation day at the start of the year, and we were assigned to smaller groups of girls within each tutor group. 

We gave the girls a tour of the school, and helped them to settle in, and assisted them through the frustration of not being able to open the padlocks for their lockers. After that, we met throughout the year during tutor times, where we reflected on personal strengths, relationships and teamwork through activities and group discussions. 

Through the program, we were able to form friendships, and offer a casual setting to support the girls with the initial changes that high school brings. Peer support is also helpful as the relationships formed exist outside of the allocated meeting times. In the words of Year 7 student Georgia Elsley, “It’s nice when you get lost around the school and to have someone to smile at in the corridor.” Peer support is a really nice way to welcome the Year 7s into the Senior School."

 

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