The Peer Support programme is a unique Leadership opportunity in the Senior College where trained senior students offer a structured programme to small groups of Year 9 students during their Orientation and the first term of the year.
The programme aims to:
- Raise self-esteem and confidence in Year 9s at a time when they are most vulnerable.
- Build a network of personal support for young people in the school with senior students
- Develop leadership skills in senior students
The following are some of the skills previous Year 9s indicated they gained from the programme:
- communication skills
- respect for others
- getting to know the other year nines and the leaders
- students also indicated that they enjoyed the activities and had a lot of fun
Peer Supporters interacted with the Year 9s on Orientation day doing “Getting to know you” activities, having dinner with them and taking them on an orientation tour of the school. They will follow a programme with the Year 9s for 12 more weeks covering the following topics:
- Building the Group
- Understanding Culture
- Peer Pressure
- Expressing Feelings
- Friendship & Trust
- Family relationships
The Leaders will lead discussion groups and activities where they can learn to understand people better, develop skills to get along with others, know how to take a leadership role, care for those who are younger and more vulnerable than them, and make sound decisions about their lives.
Below are some of the comments from Peer Support Leaders evaluations in previous years:
- It was fun to have a leadership role with the Year 9s
- It was great to see how the Year 9s change over the weeks
- It gave me an idea of what being a leader is like at Rathkeale
- I liked helping the Year 9s get more involved and become more friendly in the Rathkeale community