In 2021, Union High School launched a cross-age peer mentoring programme at the school to promote the learners’ physical, social and emotional well-being.
The programme is constructed between the older and younger learners, with mentors being assigned to specific class groups so that the younger learners can benefit from the experience and knowledge of the older ones.
𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗺𝗺𝗲 𝗮𝗹𝘀𝗼 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘀 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝗱𝗱𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗶𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗰𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗽 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗱𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹𝗼𝗽𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗼𝗽𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝘂𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗼𝗹𝗱𝗲𝗿 𝗼𝗿 𝗻𝗲𝗮𝗿-𝗽𝗲𝗲𝗿 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝘁𝗵 𝘄𝗵𝗼 𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗿𝗼𝗹𝗲.
The support of parents and teachers is undoubtedly vital for the success of our learners. However, the impact that guidance and advice from people who are closer in age can have is often overlooked – in fact, peer mentoring has been shown to lead to improved attitude to school, attendance and behaviour. It can also help learners to build up a peer network within their school, causing more holistic benefits such as a sense of community and belonging.
“𝘞𝘦 𝘩𝘰𝘱𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘮𝘮𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘪𝘥𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘯𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢 𝘴𝘢𝘧𝘦 𝘦𝘯𝘷𝘪𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘴𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘴𝘬 𝘲𝘶𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘮𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘭 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘧𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘪𝘯 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘢𝘯 𝘢𝘥𝘶𝘭𝘵 𝘰𝘳 𝘪𝘯 𝘢 𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘳𝘰𝘰𝘮 𝘴𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨,” said Grade 12 mentor, Kathryn Odendaal.