On Monday 9th July 2018, 32 students involved in the year 7 & year 12 mentoring programme celebrated a terrific year of partnership by challenging one another to the high ropes GoApe course at Cannock Chase!
The students, young and old, enjoyed testing their balance and nerve by adding additional challenges like ‘hands-free’ and even ‘blind-folded’ navigation across the high rope assault course. Mr Daniel, Mr Zarifeh and Mrs Kibble were the lucky members of staff to be leading the trip however the scheme’s success overall is down to art teacher, Mrs Graham who designed the programme from inception and championed the project and students from start to finish.
“Buddy Up” is an innovative KS3-5 mentoring programme involving 22 year 7 mentees and 22 year 12 mentors, meeting weekly for formal input and informally supporting one another, throughout the year in an ongoing capacity.
The group has participated in many team & confidence building activities including indoor rock climbing at “Rock Up” at the start of the year enabling pairs to build mutual trust and encouragement.
At Christmas the year 12’s surprised the year 7’s by making them handmade Christmas stockings and filled these with festive treats! The group also enjoyed a Head Teacher’s lunch and participated in workshops re. financial issues, unconscious bias/critical thinking and social media awareness.
Halfway through the year, Mrs Graham introduced a fortnightly praise point competition for the year 7’s during which, the average number of positive events grew from 20 to 35 within a single half-term!
When asked what they most enjoyed about the project, a year 7 replied “just knowing there is always someone there to listen to me every Monday morning” another replied “all the help that I’ve received with homework, especially Maths”, yet another “going on trips, GoApe was sick!”
Mrs Graham is looking forward to rolling out the existing 2017/18 cohort into year 8 whilst welcoming a new crop of year 7’s and 12’s in September. A final huge thanks must go to Arthur Terry’s Head Teacher, Mrs Kibble who has provided financial support for the project, as well as Assistant Head Teacher Mrs Hurn, who has been an encouragement to students and staff alike throughout the year.
Bring on ‘Buddy Up’ 2018/19!