I am proud to report that the 2017 Peer Support program is underway. The Peer Support Program is a time when the whole Primary Division meets in small groups to learn how to support each other and contribute positively to their school community. It provides students with a supportive learning environment in which to develop the skills, understandings, attitudes and strategies to enhance their own and others wellbeing. It also provides authentic leadership opportunities for the students involved.
This year the aim of the Peer Support Program is to explore the language and understanding about building positive relationships. While students can obtain good results and do their personal best without having well developed social skills, there is little question that with today’s emphasis on cooperative learning and collaboration, students are more likely to be successful if they can not only support each other when learning but resolve conflict when working together. The Peer support program will help students focus on making friends, teamwork and cooperation and resolving interpersonal conflict. It will also help students be more tolerant of others and accepting people with differences.
As with any of the foundations we teach at school parents at home can support us by reinforcing positive behaviours. This can be as simple as delivering messages to your child when you catch them getting along with others, making friends or resolving conflict outside the school environment. This can be achieved by saying something like:
- You cooperated well
- You are working well together
- Thank you for letting him join the group
- I really liked the way you didn’t get too angry
- You always listen to what others have to say
- Cooperation allows people to contribute equally. I like the way you cooperate with others
I hope that you have many opportunities to catch your child displaying positive behaviours.
Our Year 6 Peer Support leaders have also been involved in a Leadership Training Day to support this program. During this training the students developed skills on how to manage their Peer Support Group while delivering important messages. This year we have a wonderful group of Year 6 leaders who are enthusiastic to guide their teams and support the programs aims. I am sure that they will do a wonderful job.
Please make sure you ask your child about the program and review the Peer Support updates posted on the third-floor noticeboard near the Primary Office.
David Shirley | Head of Primary