Our mentor program for new students
When new students join us in Wesley College’s Senior School, they may be new to the school, an international student or a student joining us from the Middle School at our Elsternwick Campus, so there’s a diverse mix. Last year, our student Prefects introduced a new transition program, the Mentor and Orientation programs. These were established by current students to foster a sense of belonging and promote smooth transitions for all students to the Senior School.
Along with an extensive half-day introduction, each student is matched to a mentor who makes contact before the academic year begins and then continues to support their new student as they settle into Senior School. Our mentors are all volunteer students, hoping to offer a friendly face and a connection at the start of the school year.
Students supporting other students
You could quite happily say that one of the positive themes of last year was ‘students supporting other students’ at a time when students were quite removed from one another due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Despite the periods away from campus, students were able to host a ‘New Student Welcome’ and ‘Elsternwick to St Kilda Road Transition’ last year with the combined efforts of several of our Year 12 Prefects. 23 students volunteered to be mentors and comprehensive briefing sessions were provided to support them in their role. We were thrilled to again host the mentoring program this year, too.
Last year, the student leaders also introduced a new student-run club designed to support students academically. The Student Support Network included meetings and tutoring for Senior School students through the study network, which started off well but were unfortunately cut short by the restrictions.
It was wonderful to see so many students keen to participate in the SRC’s first community service activity and to attend committee meetings with the aim that other students would continue to feel supported and connected to the school community.
The establishment of the Mentoring Program is a wonderful example of student collaboration, with several student groups coming together to develop the program, including our Student Representative Council, International Relations and Spirituality and Wellbeing groups.
A heartfelt thank you to our 2020 Prefects for devising meaningful activities and community services that promoted cross-cultural understanding and connection. Our 2021 Prefects look forward to continuing this wonderful work!
Sue McEncroe is the International Student Coordinator at St Kilda Road Campus
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