Virtually the whole of the school has now undergone Heroes Journey training to enable them to coach and mentor younger students. Trainers from Human Utopia ran sessions over three days, to train Year 12 and Year 9s as mentors and to enable Year 7 students to discuss issues that are troubling them.
Ella Beesley and Ethan Loveridge were just some of the Year 9s who had volunteered to be trained. Ella said: ‘The high spot was working in groups and we got a chance to work with other year groups and get to know them personally.’ Ethan added: ‘If you start with one person they will be inspired to help others and it will start a chain reaction.’
Samantha Barrett and Olivia Balchin from Year 12 also volunteered. Olivia said: ‘If younger students need someone to talk to and don’t want to talk to a teacher they know there is someone else they can come and talk to. The stand-out thing for me was the Year 7 problems. In Sixth Form you are wrapped in your own work and you don’t realise how much Year 7s think they have to grow up now. The course is about letting them be themselves.’
Vice Principal Mr Strickland said: ‘With the exception of Year13 every single year group in the academy that has trained with this programme and they will be assigned younger tutor groups to work with. Also Year 12s are going to mentor under-achieving or struggling Year 11s so it is a really positive and popular initiative.’