Recently we had our very first Peer Support session for 2020 and we really hit the ground running! Peer Support is a weekly programme in which Year 9 students head down to the Junior School to spend time with Year 6 students and help them with their transition into the Senior School.
There was an astonishing amount of Year 9 students eager to be involved and after much planning, sorting and organising, everyone was so excited to finally get going. The Senior students were assigned their teams and everyone split off to little spots around the school, to get talking and playing!
The first session was mostly based around getting to know each other and seeing how the younger students were feeling towards moving into the Senior School. It started with a small Q&A, answering any and all questions they had about Year 7, and there were a lot! Although our younger friends were slightly apprehensive towards the beginning, they started to warm up to the prospect of getting a brand new uniform and a locker room all to themselves, not to mention the ping-pong tables and board games!
We then moved onto some ice-breakers, where there was lots of laughter whilst we tried to say each other’s names without showing our teeth! We became familiar with each other, and had a speed round of partnered activities, where we asked each other more questions about ourselves and our families. Some of these included:
“How many legs are there altogether in your family, including your pets?”
“How many rooms do you have in your houses, combined?”
“Share your top five favourite foods, to see if you can find one in common."
By asking 'odd' questions, it allowed for interesting conversation, which allowed both students to find more out about each other, but in a more fun and interesting way! To end the session, we had a speedy pop-quiz, which required team work and cooperation to find answers and be the first to get all of them right.
Overall, this was a very successful first session. The younger students learned that it’s okay to have questions, but they shouldn’t be scared! They realised that there are so many people here to help them, and that moving into the senior school can be such a fun time whilst you gain more independence and confidence. Peer Support is such a great segway for both the Year 9 and Year 6 students – the older students learn management and team-cooperation skills, and new bonds and friendships are created in the process.
I cannot wait for the second session, to get to know the year six students better and to help them in their transition into Year 7.
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