Holy Family Catholic Primary School embraces The Peer Support Foundation Programs. The Peer Support Foundation is a non-profit organisation. This organisation was established to support schools and community organisations. In recent years, the Foundation has provided programs based on themes all of which aim to build up support structures in schools.
Peer Support fosters the physical, social and mental well-being of young people and their community.
Holy Family Catholic Primary School implements Peer Support Programs by establishing ‘Care Groups’ each year. Each group includes a child from each of the seven grades at the school. The Year 6 Care Group member is the leader of the Care Group for the year. The Year 6 students undertake a full day of leadership training prior to the Care Group sessions, which are conducted in classrooms. The groups meet for 3 or 4 sessions per term over the first three terms. All the Care Groups meet at the same time each week. A weekly session takes about 40 minutes.
Some of the themes implemented at the school in recent years include:
- "Building Connections - relationships." This module focuses on respecting others, valuing friendships, problem solving and making decisions. The program supports students in developing skills, knowledge and attitudes that help them develop and understand friendships. "Building Connections - relationships" can help our school: express our motto 'Gathered in Love', develop and improve student friendships, teach the value of good friendships and be a place where friendship problems are happily solved.
- “Promoting Harmony - values.” This module has a focus on constructing shared values. The program supports students in developing skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to actively and critically construct shared values. The four main skill areas are: values clarifications, relationship building, assertiveness and decision making.
- “Living Positively - developing optimism & resilience.” This module has a focus on optimism. The program supports students in developing skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to identify their strengths and maintain a positive outlook on life. The four main skill areas are: resilience, coping, critical thinking and planning.
- “Keeping Friends – A module which focuses on relationships.” This module supports students in developing knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to maintain friendships and interact with one another in a friendly and positive way.
- “Good Citizens – the passport to our future.” This module leads students to develop personal understandings, skills, values and attitudes that empower them to make a positive and caring contribution to society. This program strives to develop values of respect, consideration, loyalty, generosity, honour, acceptance, connectedness and unity.
- “Taking Opportunities – becoming a resilient person.” This module helps the student understand ways to act when in a difficult situation. The program develops an understanding of self, conflict and explores practical ways to act in certain situations.
- “Bullying – together we can work it out.” This program helps create a safer and happier school. It assists to develop a school culture which discourages bullying behaviours. The sessions help the children to counter bullying behaviours and develop strategies that work when bullying occurs. A whole school focus on anti-bullying can lead to a more harmonious school.
- “Stronger Together - A Focus on Anti-Bullying”. This uses an evidence-based peer led approach to enhance the mental, social and emotional well-being of students. The program also supports our overall anti-bullying awareness at the school.
WHOLE SCHOOL BENEFITS
- Peer Support provides many benefits for Holy Family School. These include:
- Development of small K-6 groups.
- Interaction of students across the school.
- Empathy for one another.
- Responsibility towards one another.
- Greater consideration towards each other.
- Understanding of students of varying age groups.
- Promotion of well-being, mental health and happiness.
- Positive interactions between students.
- Socialisation between students.