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The majority of our member primary schools train Peer Leaders and implement Peer Support sessions in Terms 2 or 3. The following tips may assist you in achieving great outcomes in the Peer Support Program for your school community.
Training Peer Leaders
Prior to conducting the training, it is important to get together with your group of Facilitating Teachers to discuss the organisation of the training, and their roles and responsibilities. For teachers who are new to the role, an awareness raising session might assist in developing an understanding of the key leadership skills addressed, the activities and the process for facilitating discussion. A comprehensive plan for a Facilitating Teacher’s Awareness Raising session is included in Section 1 of the Peer Leaders’ Training.
To successfully facilitate the Peer Leaders’ Training it is important to conduct an Awareness Raising Session for the Peer Leaders prior to the 2 day Leadership Training. This session provides background information on their role and explains the leadership training process. We recommend schools conduct the session in the week before the training to allow students time to ask questions and take notes home to parents/care givers if required. A comprehensive session plan is included in Section 1 of the Peer Leaders’ Training.
Peer Support Australia Consultants are available to conduct student and staff awareness raising sessions in the Sydney Metropolitan area. Sessions are free of charge as part of your school’s Affiliate Membership with Peer Support Australia. For more information please contact our office and speak to a member of the Education Team.
Peer Support Sessions
At Peer Support Australia we regularly review and update our modules to ensure they reflect current research and student needs. We encourage schools to implement a different module each year in order to keep the content fresh and engaging for the students. For primary schools we have modules focusing on relationships, resilience, values, optimism and anti-bullying.
To view our current modules you can visit the resources page on our website (link to resources page please). If you would like to discuss your school’s resources please feel free to get in touch with a member of our Education Team.
It is crucial the Peer Leaders are briefed adequately prior to each Peer Support session. This ensures the students are well prepared, organised and confident in the material they will facilitate with their groups. Briefing can be conducted by the Coordinating Teacher or their Classroom Teacher using Briefing Notes included in each module. Peer Leaders should also be debriefed after the session to acknowledge their contribution, provide positive feedback and address any areas of concern.
Classroom Teachers should also brief the student prior to each session to discuss the purpose and main concepts at a stage based level. Debriefing students after each session will assist in consolidating their learning and provide an opportunity to discuss their role and responsibilities as cooperative group members. Debriefing notes are included at the end of every session. Classroom posters may also be used to highlight key concepts from the module.
Classroom Teachers play an important role in observing the sessions and assisting Peer Leaders. Supervising Teachers must actively supervise Peer Support groups to provide assistance and address, if necessary, any issue relating to behaviour management.
To engage your Supervising Teachers, provide each teacher with a copy of the session for them to follow. You can also request feedback on the Peer Leaders working in their room by asking teachers to complete the ‘Supervising Teacher’s Feedback’ proforma in the Primary Schools Manual. Feedback can then be provided to the Peer Leaders as part of their debriefing.
For any assistance regarding training Peer Leaders or conducting sessions please feel free to contact a member of Peer Support Australia’s Education Team on (02) 9905 3499 or email firstname.lastname@example.org