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Implementation Workshop Price: $575.00 Plus GST School Level: Secondary Location: Livepool, NSW Date: Tuesday, 1 April 2014
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September 03 2014

Peer Support is a valuable tool in transition to high school

“…students spoke glowingly about the role of their peer support leaders. The program was so successful that it was being used  as a model for programs to be implemented in other schools.”

From 2015, Queensland and Western Australia will restructure their school system by transitioning Year 7 students secondary schools. Previously, Year 7 students in those states have been part of the primary school structure.

A study carried out by University of Notre Dame, WA, on Catholic schools in Western Australia that have implemented the restructuring process highlights The Peer Support Program as a valuable tool in supporting the transition of Year 7 students to secondary school.

The conclusions drawn by the research point to five key factors as major contributors to the overall success of the transition process. The Peer Support Program was highlighted as one of these five factors.

“Peer support programs in which Year 11 students acted as ‘mentors’ for their younger counterparts operates in two schools. Students at school B indicated very strongly that the program has been instrumental in them being able to quickly settle into their new school.”

“Trained Year 11 students involved in the peer support program also attended the orientation and took students through a series of activities, talked with them about their timetables and took them on a tour of the school. Year 7 students attended one period per week of a structured peer support program during term one which was facilitated by the Year 11 students who met each week with the coordinator of the program to discuss and plan the following week’s activities. Past research has identified this aspect as important ‘social capital’ which students can harness to make the transition less stressful (Weller, 2007).” 

Source: “Transitioning Year 7 Primary Students to Secondary Settings in Western Australian Catholic Schools: A Description of the Process” (2011) Anne COffey, Richard G. Berlach, Michael O’Neill, Univesity of Nore Dame, W.A.

Read the full research report here: Uni of Notre Dame – WA transition