Barrenjoey High School has a long-established and successful Peer Mentoring Program. The program involves Year 10 students acting as older “brothers” and “sisters” to the new Year 7 students to assist with their integration into the high school environment. The Peer Mentors are present on the first day of school to show the Year 7 students how to navigate their way around the school, introduce them to their teachers, help them read their timetables and assist them to settle in. During Term 1 the Peer Mentors organise “ice-breaker” activities where Year 7 students meet and interact with students other than their friendship groups.
The program derives from Peer Support Australia and benefits include:
Providing students with a supportive learning environment in which to develop the skills, understandings, attitudes and strategies to improve mental wellbeing
- Developing key skills in resilience, assertiveness, decision making, problem solving and leadership
- Empowering young people to support each other and contribute positively to society
Some great friendships are made along the way, and the Year 10 students are often used as counsellors, friends, confidantes, team mates and fantastic role models. It is a very rewarding and valuable program which helps contribute to a safe and happy school environment.