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Peer Mentoring


Following a positive staff training with the Bullying Intervention Group the Coln House leadership team decided to invest in the skills of Netta Cartwright (a renowned behaviour co-councillor) to train some of the pupils at Coln House to be “peer mentors” or “co-councillors”. 

It was felt that empowering the pupils of the school and encouraging them to turn to each other for support would be a very positive move for Coln House. It was also seen as good way to reinforce the prefect system introduced at the end of last year. 

The pupils were given a short introduction to peer mentoring and then asked to put their names forward for selection. From these names nine pupils were chosen, their ages ranging from 13-15 years. The course was run at the youth room in the Fairford Council offices and the lunch was catered for by “The Allium”; a highly acclaimed local restaurant. 

The training had an instant impact and the pupils quickly formed a strong and responsible group identity;- they listened well to each other and showed a mature approach to counselling and confidentiality. Over the three days the group had visits from both staff and governors who were welcomed and encouraged to join in some of the session. One of the highlights from these visits was from Mr Clarke, the headteacher, who was encouraged to divulge his current frustrations (which were, of course, many) by the group as a whole. 

The course finished positively for all concerned. The pupils are now in the process of setting up co-counselling sessions during tutor time and break time to share what they have learnt together and help the other pupils form a strong and positive shared identity. It has given them the skills to consider the implications of bullying while making them more aware of their own behaviour. 

This will now provide an extra layer to the support structure within the school and gives the opportunity for pupils to listen and take responsibility for the wellbeing of their peers.