Over two days at end of last term, 27 students from Year 8 who had stepped up to the challenge and applied to be a peer mentor undertook training that explored the different aspects of the mentoring role, what they might have to come up against and how they can strive to be the best role models and peer mentors to the new students arriving in September. First and foremost a huge congratulations to all those who were successful in their applications and underwent the training programme which was a lot of fun, energetic and enlightening!
Peer Mentoring has long been a regular part of KES life and the recently trained students will remember having this peer support available to them when they arrived here two years ago, and for many this was the exact reason why they wanted to give something back and do it themselves.
Mentoring provides new students with a peer led focal point, someone to talk to, ask advice, be a ready-made friend when you can often feel like a small fish in a big pond on arrival to secondary school. For the mentors they gain a new level of confidence, recognise the benefits in helping others both in terms of others and their own self-esteem, and of course recognition and responsibility.
The first task of the mentors will be starting very soon as the New Beginnings programme gets under way for the current Year 6 students as they come into school over a period of weeks for a real taster of KES life — our newly commissioned mentors will be instrumental in making this a success. They will also be accompanying visits to local primary schools in the summer months as part of the transition process. The training may be done, but the job is only just beginning!