Peer support helping pupils connect

MAC Peer Support programme participants (from left) George Cruden, 11, Debora Vieira, 17,  Edie...
MAC Peer Support programme participants (from left) George Cruden, 11, Debora Vieira, 17,  Edie Yandall (front), 11, and Lewis Turner (back), 17. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Te Kura o Tititea Mount Aspiring College (MAC) has introduced a peer support programme to help its year 7 pupils make a successful transition to high school.

Head of counselling and programme co-ordinator Michael Multhaup said the programme had helped to build stronger relationships between senior and junior pupils.

"Using fun activities and games, the programme provides a structured introduction to life at MAC for our new year 7 students.

"The senior students act as role models to provide guidance and support to the students just beginning their high school experience.

"Senior students gain skills in organisation and whakawhānaungatanga, as well as people and time management, and our year 7 students gain a structured induction to school under the guidance of senior students who have undertaken training as leaders.

"Following the success of this year’s programme, we plan to run it at the start of each new school year."

Year 13 pupil Debora Vieira said she joined the programme because she wanted to create bonds with younger pupils.

"I can remember the younger me and how I would have loved the chance to work with the big kids in the school.

"A highlight of the programme has been seeing the energy of the year 7 students and how excited they are to be involved."

Year 13 pupil Lewis Turner decided to participate in the programme to lead by example.

"I wanted to try and be someone the younger students could look up to.

‘‘It’s also helped me to think outside the box and see school life from the perspective of younger students."

Year 7 pupil George Cruden said the programme allowed him to grow and learn about friendships.

"I learned about how people show their emotions in different ways and we took part in games where we had to work as a team. 

‘‘Being able to form connections with seniors has been really beneficial as it makes me feel like MAC is a safe place to be."

Fellow year 7 pupil Edie Yandall said doing the programme had helped her to make new connections.

"Knowing some of the year 13 students has helped me feel more comfortable around the older students because I can talk to them if I need to.

"The programme has given me something to look forward to every week and helped me learn about our school values, and how to work as a team and build healthy friendships."