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Peer Support

The Peer Support Programme, is a personal development programme for secondary students, led by senior students.

Senior students are trained to take a leadership role in helping younger students develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to interact with their peers in positive ways.  

Peer Support develops self-acceptance, confidence and the ability to make sound decisions.  It harnesses positive peer influence to combat negative peer pressure.

Young people entering secondary school often feel isolated and insecure.  They want to belong but the price of belonging can be very high.  Negative peer pressure easily leads to anti-social and unhealthy habits.  This behaviour can escalate and become a way of life unless students receive active support to resist these pressures.

The Peer Support Programme was developed in Sydney 30 years ago as an antidote to negative peer pressure in secondary schools.  It was introduced to New Zealand schools in 1985 as a result of the initiatives of committed teachers and Rotarians.

The programme has flourished in New Zealand and is now up and running in two thirds of our secondary schools.  The Peer Support Programme is established as an integral part of the curriculum of the school.  Each year senior students are trained by qualified Peer Support teachers to lead small groups of incoming Form 3 students in weekly activities and discussions.  The aim is to encourage a positive group experience and frank discussion of the problems which Form 3 students may have in making the transition to secondary school.

Themes which can be incorporated into a peer support programme include: Getting to know you, communication, self-awareness, values, feelings, friendship and trust, peer pressure, bullying, family relationships and cultural awareness.
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