Peer mentoring at Headlands School

Posted by / Tuesday 19 January 2016 /
Peer mentors

Students at Headlands School create peer mentoring group as part of anti-bullying week.

With bullying affecting so many children and young people across the UK, anti-bullying week was launched. Many of our schools across the UK took part including Headlands School where pupils decided to start a peer mentor group. Having all overcome similar difficulties, they wanted to highlight the role mentoring schemes can play in helping a young person achieve their potential.

The group (with the help of Charity Fixers) created an animated film to show what a peer mentor does:

We got the chance to speak to George, featured in the video above, and ask him some questions about the peer mentors to find out more.

 

Why did the peer mentoring scheme start? 
The kids at school thought that there needed to be more work done with bullying, and when asked, they said that sometimes it would be easier to talk to other kids than to staff. One of the staff researched what had worked in other schools and suggested a peer mentoring scheme.  We were really proud because we don’t know of any other school like ours that has peer mentors.

Who does it help? 
The peer mentors help everyone, they help kids that have been bullied before, kids that are being bullied now, and kids that find joining in with others difficult. In some ways we help the staff too, as sometimes the pupils will come to us, or we know how to help them and can stop a problem before it starts. We look out to make sure that people are involved and included, or talk to people that look like they are finding things hard.  It’s easier for kids to talk to kids about teenage stuff.

How are the peer mentors chosen?
New peer mentors are suggested by the existing group, and hold nominations each year where other pupils have the opportunity to tell us why they would like to be involved, what they think they can contribute and how they might like to bring something new to the team.  We have to be prepared to give up quite a lot of our own time to do the job, break times, lunch times etc. working with other kids and come to weekly meetings, so we try and choose people that we know will be committed and reliable.

How has attending Headlands helped you? 
Coming to Headlands has helped me to keep my temper.  I found this really difficult when I first came here and would get into fights with other kids.  I’m much more able to see things from a different point of view now and have learned coping skills for when I feel myself getting stressed. Because I know I can do this now it’s really helped me with my independence and confidence – I can go out and do things now that I wouldn’t have the courage to before.

What is your favourite thing about going to school? 
I love seeing the psychology students, I have my lunch with them every day!   They are part of the peer mentor team so I like seeing them and the other members of the team.  It’s good to know I can make a difference.

What will you do when you leave school? 
I want to do something in sports.  I’m doing my coaching badges now and they give you  an overview of things like physiotherapy and sports psychology, so I’m going to see which of those I like most ready for when I go to college!

 

A massive thank you and well done to the peer mentors for their amazing work helping others – you’re brilliant!

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