We are all currently living through a global pandemic. The uncertainty of the situation that we find ourselves in naturally causes increased anxiety. A proactive approach to individual wellbeing is more crucial than ever. Evidence suggests that there are 5 steps that we can take to improve our health and wellbeing – the first of these is connect. Now, more than ever, it is vital that we stay connected and feel supported.

Here at Warminster School, our Peer Mentoring Programme has always aimed to provide our younger pupils with the opportunity to connect with an older pupil; to provide our younger pupils with individual support from older, more experienced pupils in order to ensure that all pupils at Warminster School feel Valued, Empowered and Safe. Our mentors are provided with in-depth training which focuses on fundamental listening and communication skills to help mentors get to know their mentee and establish a strong relationship.

I must admit that as we entered into lockdown back in March I was concerned about how we would manage to keep the Pupil Mentor Programme going and how we would ensure that these mentor/mentee relationships would be able to develop. However, I was clearly very wrong to have these doubts. I should have known that our wonderful Mentors would rise to the challenge! As one of our U6 Mentors put it : “I’m not going to stop being there for my mentee just because of Covid”

With a little help from the 8×8 video conferencing platform, the resourcefulness of our Mentors and the willingness of both mentors and mentees to embrace this new way of connecting, we have been able to continue to provide this valuable additional support for our younger pupils. I am so grateful to them all. I am also grateful to the staff team who continue to provide support for our Pupil Mentors.

Of course, we all crave a return to normality – a time when we can have that real, face-to-face contact which we, as humans all desperately need. Until then, I have complete confidence in our amazing mentor team to continue to give the best support they can to their mentees.

For pupils currently in Years 10 and 11 there will soon be the opportunity to join our thriving Pupil Mentor team in September. Details on the application process will follow after half term.

I would like to take this opportunity to say a heartfelt thank you to our Pupil Mentors. You have demonstrated such emotional intelligence, empathy, kindness, maturity and resourcefulness. I can’t tell you how proud I am of you all.

Nicola Rogers, Assistant Head (Pupil Development)