In line with the ethos of Scoil Phobail Bheara, each child’s personal, emotional, spiritual, social and academic development is a priority. The building of each child’s self esteem is of prime importance. The school aims to provide a safe and caring environment in which all students can function and receive the education they deserve in a comfortable environment. The school endeavours to allow each and every student have a positive experience of school.
The transition between Primary and Post-Primary school can be a very emotional and challenging time for many students. The mentoring programme plays a vital role in helping them to settle in successfully to their new environment.
Pupils are invited at the end of the year to apply for a position as a school mentor. The interested students complete an application form and there may be an interview process if necessary. The students are then chosen and participate in a training day held in August. The trained mentors (who by then are fifth year students) return to school on the same day as first year students, to help with the integration / induction process.
The mentors meet their first year group as part of first year Orientation Day. They assist the Year Head and Class Teachers allocated to first years, and Chaplain with games to help them get to know each other, a fire drill and tours of the school on the first day.
Fifth year pupils are allocated a small group of first years (approx. 3/4 pupils) to care for throughout the year. The first year pupils should feel comfortable with whichever group they are allocated. If any pupil is unhappy in their group, they can easily be changed. The idea behind the
mentoring programme is that first year students will have somebody else to confide in and may feel more comfortable with someone close to their own age group. Many of the first year students will already know some fifth year students and this may also help in preventing problems arising or in solving difficulties which may arise. It is another channel of communication for first year students in the first year in Scoil Phobail Bhéara
Fifth year students will deal with any minor difficulties and if any student has a serious difficulty the mentors will communicate with any of the Mentor Programme Team –Chaplain, Year Head of first years or with Principal, Deputy Principal, Class Teachers.
Fifth year mentors will take their small break and lunch break with their group on the first day of term. The fifth years will then keep an eye on their first year students during break times for the first few weeks. There may be other meetings / events arranged so the groups get a chance to talk socially during the first term, e.g. a table quiz.
The fifth year students will have received training in areas such as: friendship, bullying, boundaries, confidentiality and problem solving but will make contact immediately with Mentor Programme Team if a problem arises or if they are unsure about how to deal with any situation.
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