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Tweed River High School on the far north coast of NSW has a very active Peer Support Program, not only providing the structured eight peer led sessions as part of its timetable, but also extending the Program into other facets of school life. Here’s a snapshot of how Implementation of Peer Support looks at Tweed River High School:
TRAINING DAYS FOR YEAR 9 STUDENTS
Peer Support begins in Term 4 for Year 9 students who are each required to submit a written application to be trained as Peer Leaders. The two-day training is held in Term 4 and the students are presented with their badges at an assembly afterwards.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PEER SUPPORT PROGRAM
In Term 1 of the following year, the Peer Leaders (now in Year 10) are involved in the school’s Orientation Day, Sports Taster Days and Subject Taster Days, to ensure that in-coming Year 7 students become more familiar with the structure and function of the school.
Year 10 students work in pairs or groups of three to deliver the Peer Support sessions once a week during Term 1. Teachers are rostered to supervise the groups from a distance. Year 10 Peer Leaders meet at lunch times to plan their lessons. The highlight of delivering The Peer Support Program is the finale which takes the form of a group fashion parade.
EXTENDING PEER SUPPORT BEYOND THE PEER LED SESSIONS
At Tweed River High School, Peer Support doesn’t end with the conclusion of the peer led Module. The school has successfully created meaningful roles for the Peer Leaders to continue to apply and further develop their skills.
YEAR 7 CAMP
A small group of Year 10 Peer Leaders are invited to be involved in the Year 7 Camp. This Camp builds on team-building and problem-solving skills and the Peer Leaders are given an opportunity to further develop the relationships established with Year 7 students earlier in the year.
Year 7 have their own playground areas. A new initiative is for a rostered group of Year 10 Peer Leaders (wearing their Peer Support badges) to provide additional welfare support at recess and lunch.
STUDENT VOLUNTEERING PROGRAM
Peer Support Leaders are acknowledged for the work they have put into planning and implementation of the peer led activities that they engage in. At the conclusion of Year 10, the Peer Leaders receive a State certificate, which our school uses in mock-interviews known as the Portfolio process.
Many thanks to the students of Tweed River High School for providing this snapshot of Peer Support at their school.