Peer support still going strong
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INDEPENDENT SCHOOL FOR BOYS 7–18 FOUNDED 1590
QUEEN Elizabeth’s Hospital (QEH) School has a reputation in helping their newest boys settle in quickly at the start of the academic year – and this September has been no different. School counsellor Mrs Sarah Maltin believes the Peer Support Scheme, which she introduced to the school over 18 years ago, plays a crucial part in this process. She said: “Our Peer Support team plays a vital role in helping boys settle in successfully to their new environment. Because the Peer Supporters have spent a number of years in the school they are familiar with its history, curriculum and layout.” The Peer Support Scheme is a listening service provided by 20 boys from Year 13, all of whom will have been undergoing training since Year 12. The team is heavily involved in the Year 7 induction programme, as well as continuing to provide support throughout the school year. When asked about his first few days at QEH, one Year 7 pupil said: “My first impressions were how welcoming the school was, it felt like I was let into a new family.” Other pupils spoke of the older boys being “really nice” and there being “a sense of kindness” at the school. It is not just new pupils who benefit. Extensive training is provided to those students who become Peer Supporters, particularly in active listening skills, in order to respond emphatically to the range of issues they may come across during the course of the year. Headmaster, Stephen Holliday said: “There is never any shortage of volunteers to participate and perhaps this is the best indicator of how well received the scheme is by our new boys. “When they enter the Sixth Form five years on, they still remember how valuable they found it, and are keen to give something back.” This system of peer support continues throughout the school, with a separate team of Peer Mentors focusing on the needs of older pupils.
Friday 9 October 9.30–11.30am
Saturday 10 October 10am–12noon
Monday 12 October 6.30pm Contact Mrs Carolyn Matthews 0117 930 3068 www.qehbristol.co.uk
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