2013 saw the Peer Support program implemented in the Middle years at John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School. The focus of this program is to provide students in Year 6, who are transitioning to Year 7, with familiarisation of the campus and the Middle School environment. The Peer Support day is followed up later in the term with an Orientation day for all the new students coming into Year 7 as well as the classes from the primary campuses.
The Year 8 and 9 Middle School Captains and Councillors lead the program and are excellent role models for the younger students. The leaders work in small teams, as determined by their house, and work with students in their respective PCG groups.
Year 6’s are encouraged to bring with them a series of questions that they have prepared so that they can ask the leaders for answers to some of the queries that they may have. Having an older student who has been through the transition experience is very reassuring for younger students.
The students are taken on a tour of the Mirrabooka campus so that they can orientate themselves to important landmarks around the School. In addition they have the opportunity to visit the Art and Design Exhibition on display in the Middle School learning street.
During the Peer Support session, the leaders organise team building games to help students meet other members of their PCG. These are often the highlight of the day encouraging friendships to form and helping students to talk and have fun with their peers.
The Year 6 students also get to meet the Year 8 and 9 Captains and Councillors again during the Orientation day, as the young leaders run the sports activities during that session. It is reassuring for the younger students to see familiar faces once again.
Not only is this a great experience for the Year 6 students but the Year 8 and 9 Captains and Councillors also gain valuable leadership experience. They work together in teams to answer questions, lead students in team building games and learn to communicate confidently and effectively with younger students. Over the years that this initiative has evolved the School has seen a number of our Year 9 leaders take up further leadership positions in Year 12.