This week’s student blog comes from Sixth Former, Emily, who is very excited to describe and explain a brand new student-led initiative in the school.
For many months, Niamh, Hafsa and I, a motivated group of Year 12 girls, have been planning, creating and developing a peer support group named ‘Vent’ which we have been so excited to launch this week.
The idea of the system is for younger students to feel as if they have an older student to talk to, one who has been through the ups and downs of teenage life, and although the younger students have support from teachers and the pastoral team in school, it will be comforting for them to have someone who has experienced the school itself and the challenges of being a teenager in this modern society.
Students of any gender from Years 7-11 can contact us either through an email we have set up, email@example.com or a letterbox that we have provided, where they can write to us about small or large problems and leave an ‘address’ (a place in school) for us to leave it, and a time they want it to be there – this way students can talk to us anonymously if they wish to.
We are also using a small room near learning support as our ‘Vent’ room, which we have decorated to make it feel more welcoming, and we will be there on a Wednesday and Thursday lunchtime for anyone to come and speak to us. It’s an open-door policy, no ‘appointment’ is needed and we will have free biscuits and a drink!
The three of us who have founded this scheme have completed a Level 2 Child Protection training qualification, so we know how to safely and correctly support and care for the students who speak to us.
For months we have been excited and motivated to launch our scheme, and what better way to set it off with a bang that to do a kindness project in school to raise awareness of our new system?
On Monday morning, Niamh, Hafsa and I went into the girls’ toilets in drama and maths, and with post it notes and pens we left about 8 stuck to the mirrors, with positive and inspiring messages written on them to do with body confidence and self worth – a prominent part of the life of a teenage girl. We then left some blank post it notes for students to write their own messages on!
Only an hour later, we returned to the toilets to find that there were loads of post it notes bearing positive, happy and motivating messages upon them – all written by the lower and middle school girls of AKS. It was such a heart-warming thing to discover, and we cannot wait to progress and develop our system even more in the upcoming months.
Emily – Year 12