This year our 6th year senior executives have started a new initiative called ‘peer mentoring.’ Our Deputy Head Girl – Brogan MacDonald started up the scheme with the help of Head Girl – Christina Robinson, Head Boy – Fergus Milne and Deputy Head Boy – Peter Mitchell and they are collaborating with the Educational Psychologist, who is providing them with training in listening skills, restorative therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and confidentiality. The scheme is aimed at all S1-S4 pupils and we also work with the primary 7’s as they approach their time at the academy.
Our main aims and objectives of the scheme are to:
- Ensure all pupils feel safe and comfortable in KemnayAcademy
- Increase awareness of the support systems within the school
- Provide advice to pupils from experienced seniors
- Improve self esteem and confidence
- Make new friendships
A few examples of ways in which we can help pupils are:
- Assist with school work or organise peer tuition from fellow seniors
- Discuss peer pressure i.e. smoking, alcohol
- Provide advice and direct to further professional help on external issues such as family related problems
- Improve pupils time management skills, i.e. homework/coursework
Due to mentors being closer in age, knowledge and authority than adults, mentees often feel freer to express ideas, ask questions and take risks. These similarities also make it easier for mentors to understand personal and academic problems that the mentee may be experiencing – and present solutions in a more understandable and relevant way.
The mentors have advertised themselves around the school by talking closely to the pupils during PSE sessions to ensure they understand the service.
Since it is our last year in Kemnay Academy, and we wish for this scheme to be successful both for this year and for the future, we have selected five S5 students to assist us and continue mentoring into the next academic year.
We have not officially assigned mentors to pupils within the school as we wish to trial the scheme generally to all pupils first of all. The main way of communication we wish to test is via email. We are aware many pupils may be too shy or embarrassed to approach us so we have created an email account that any pupil can access which sends a message directly to us. Obviously pupils can approach us at any time, no matter what we are doing, but we will also assign a drop in session once a week. There doesn’t have to be a problem for a pupil to come and see us. They are more than welcome to come in anytime for a chat!
More information will follow on the Academy website for yourselves and pupils, and we are also hoping to develop an area on Glow for the Primary 7’s and academy pupils to find out about us and contact any mentors.