Pupils will help new starters during summer holidaysBy Julie Spencer
July 05, 2011
Older pupils at a Bracknell comprehensive have volunteered to give up a week of their summer holiday to help new arrivals settle in.
Some of September’s new intake will be shown the ropes at Easthampstead Park Community School by pupils who remember what it was like to be the new boy or girl.
The Confidence for Summer Learning programme is run by Lester Martin, learning support centre manager at the Ringmead school, and learning mentor Helen Culpin with the help of pupils.
Mr Martin said: “We always have plenty of volunteers and I have already had students coming up to me asking if they can be a mentor on the scheme.”
Last year 23 new children enjoyed workshops and activities designed to take the stress out of the transition from their primary school to Easthampstead Park.
Lester added: “We organise treasure hunts so they can find their way around and staff and students are here to answer their questions.”
Pupils from the school’s seven feeder primaries who are identified by teachers as needing additional support are eligible.
Parents of Year Six children at Birch Hill, Great Hollands, The Pines, St Margaret Clitherow, St Michael’s Easthampstead, Wildridings and Wooden Hill primaries can also ask for their child to be included.
Activities during the week-long programme, which starts on August 22, are designed to boost the pupils’ social, communication and team skills as well as their confidence and self-esteem.
Gordon Cunningham, Easthampstead Park headteacher, said: “This excellent programme has shown that a little time spent listening and talking to young people will not only reassure them but allow them to take advantage of the wide range of activities.”