11th April 2012
Peer mentors presented with certificates
STUDENTS who provided a friendly face and a supportive ear to pupils making the switch from primary to secondary school have been recognised.
13 students – Sarah Baker, Charlotte Beaumont, Eleanor Briers, Laura Craster, Clare Fisher, Rebecca Fong, Zoe Gaggs, Tami-Rose Hesketh, Voirrey Horne, Emily Kingott, Minna Perup, Carey Richards and Kaya Teare – completed a National Open College Network qualification in peer mentoring.
Today (Tuesday) they were guests at the Department of Education and Children and received certificates from Martin Barrow, Director of Education.
The DEC’s Youth Service offers a volunteer peer mentor course to students, accredited at level 2 by the National Open College Network. It is the fifth year that students from Queen Elizabeth II High School have taken it up.
The course is aimed at sixth formers who are willing to surrender some of their time to help 11-year-olds make a smooth transition from primary school to secondary school.
Students attend classroom sessions on mentoring and work with young people in school, then produce a portfolio that shows what they have learned.
Ken Callister, Principal Youth Officer, said: ‘This is a great way for older students to put something back into the system. They are young enough to remember how it felt to be in a stranger in a new school and how a friendly face and some encouragement and support can make a difference to how newcomers settle in.
‘The young people who took this course were pretty busy with their own studies but they all said it was really useful and has made them think about themselves and how they might support friends and family.’
‘For those going off to university, leaving home and finding themselves in a new friendship group, completing this course helps make them more resilient,’ Ken said.
Some of those who achieved the qualification are still in the sixth form at the Peel school while others are in their first year at university.
Sue Moore, Headteacher at Queen Elizabeth II High School, said: ‘This is a wonderful initiative that provides invaluable support to young children making the transition to secondary school while developing skills in older students that will help them throughout life.’
Sue Crowe, course tutor, commented: ‘The young people have completed the course on a voluntary basis and have worked very hard to achieve the National Open College Network qualification. They were able to use their own experiences and those within the training programme to help others overcome difficulties and problems as they were needed during school time.’
The Youth Service is an accredited National Open College Network centre.