Our Big Sister Little Sister programme, as the name implies, is a peer-support approach at the Girls’ School that brings together our Senior and Junior girls to help them feel safe, and grow and learn in a conducive environment.
It is built into our school activities throughout the year and stem from the ethos of care to facilitate development of meaningful relationships and to nurture successful learning experiences.
Mrs Jill Wahlstrom, the Deputy Principal of the Girls School explains that it helps build connections and create an environment where our students look out for one another. “It fosters and encourages relationships between our Senior and Junior students and new students to the school. For example, our girls are paired within their House structure, with House-related activities and competitions providing opportunities for our Senior students to connect and guide our younger and new girls. We have seen bonds strengthening over time as our Junior and new students to school have a familiar and approachable student peer they can seek out to ask questions, do set activities with and enjoy designated House lunches together. For our Senior students it provides leadership opportunities, and allows all Senior students to become supportive role models within our community.”
During House meetings which take place three times a term, the Head and Deputy Head of House will share with their Houses upcoming events, practice their chants, and welcome and introduce new girls to members of their House. They will also have time to connect with the buddies to discuss how they are doing, discuss challenges they are facing, take time to understand what they enjoy doing and encourage them to participate in activities that interest them. Where need be, the Senior student will also follow up any queries, or challenges the student may have with the appropriate teacher, or Syndicate Dean.
It is not uncommon to see our Senior students playing their part as Big Sisters by helping their Little Sisters complete a task, or cheering them on, or looking after them during all House events. This not only fosters the connection within the House but builds on the strong bonds formed, throughout the years.
House lunches which are organised twice a term provide another avenue for the girls to eat together and enjoy some fun lunchtime activities which are led by the Senior girls. It is great to see the girls mingling in a safe environment, asking and answering questions, and using the forum as a platform to build relationships while fostering our Saint Kentigern values.
We look forward to continuing these supportive role-modelling opportunities with many more activities planned throughout the year.