Principal’s Blog – 13th January 2017

Anti-Bullying Ambassadors at Minsthorpe

Minsthorpe Students – Here To Help!

Minsthorpe is a fantastic place to make friends, socialise, and (hopefully) learn! But things aren’t always the way we want them. Just around the corner may be a bully, or family problems lurking in the shadows. It’s often hard to shine a light on the matter, especially with adults who seem too different from those being affected to understand. My Blog this week is devoted to the student-led activities that we have here in the college that provide our students with someone to provide help and support them when the going gets tough.

The Anti-Bullying Ambassadors

In 2015 Minsthorpe hosted an Anti-Bullying Ambassadors Conference for hundreds of students from both primary and secondary schools. It was a hands-on event designed to inspire young people to creatively explore bullying issues and to think about how they could help to tackle the problem of bullying in schools. Two years on, Minsthorpe has a thriving Anti-Bullying Ambassador scheme with sixteen trained students from Years 7, 8 and 9 who make themselves available in the MAP Office during Snack Breaks every day to offer a listening service for students who feel that they are being bullied. The students are an important peer support group who refer cases to Heads of Year who then deal it with via our anti-bullying policies. The Anti-Bullying Ambassadors are great role models and play a vital role in our policy of zero tolerance to bullying in the college.

Peer Listeners

Throughout 2016 we have been training a group of students to become Peer Listeners. The service will be launched by Mrs Collins this month and, like the Anti-Bullying Ambassadors scheme, because it is led by students it represents a real drive to understand the problems being faced by our young people because it is being led by students who have often experienced similar issues themselves. Whatever the worry that a student may have, be it the blues or unhappiness at home, this friendly, confidential service will try to get them back on track.

Students HOPE

The dreadful events before Christmas showed how important it was for students to have someone to talk to and we remain eternally grateful to The Samaritans, the Kooth Counsellor and both teaching and associate staff who were there for our students who experienced the whole gamut of emotions after the tragedies. Out of this has been born Students HOPE (Students Helping Other People Every day). Led by Mrs Pridd and the Year 12 Health and Social Care students, this will be a Post 16 student buddy service in which our sixth formers will act as big ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ to our younger students, be a friendly face around the college and direct them to the many sources of help that we provide if they are troubled by something.

All three groups will co-ordinate their efforts and share intelligence through the College Action Teams that operate via the Student Council.

During testing times there are different types of people: those who turn up their sleeves, those who turn up their noses and those who do not turn up at all. The staff care deeply here at Minsthorpe and I am so proud to see that our students do too and are prepared to stand up and be counted.

Ray Henshaw