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Trident’s Peer Support programme is a distinct and special programme which looks at supporting Year 9 students in their transition to high school. The Year 13 Peer Support Leaders spent 2 days in leadership training in order to equip them to facilitate small groups of Year 9 students in co-operative and collaborative activities. At the powhiri at the beginning of the school year, the Year 13 Peer Support Leaders met their Year 9 students with their whanau and together they looked at what supports learning at Trident. These bonds were further developed the next day when the Year 13 Peer Support Leaders met their groups again and began building connections and friendships. The groups have met together once a week for 4 weeks building cohesion and collaboration between senior students and Year 9. Through this mentoring and role modelling Year 9 students come to experience the core values of Trident. In week 5 Year 13 Peer Support Leaders and Year 9’s spent a fun filled and sunny day at Ohope Beach. During the day, students worked together to solve challenges that required co-operation and collaboration. The groups also worked together on a sand castle which represented the theme “TEAMWORK". Last week the programme ended with a shared pizza lunch. Below we hear from some of our students on their experiences of the programme.

Year 9 student Dahrius Tahu has enjoyed not only the start of his time at Trident but specifically the Peer Support programme. Dahrius’s main concern when starting at Trident was getting lost at Trident and aside from a bit of confusion where he was on the first day, he has sailed through with the help of his Peer Support Leaders- Tia, William and Rhianna. His peer support leaders showed him and his group around the school and taught them what it means to be a student at Trident. He says there was a focus on teamwork and communication skills in all the activities he did with his group and knows that these skills are important to help with school life. Dahrius says he knows he can go to his Year 13 peer support leaders if he needs advice or help with anything as he has a good relationship them. The Beach Day was the highlight of all the activities he was involved in, with lots of challenging teamwork activities like lifting a bucket of water with pieces of string. When Dahrius is a Year 13 student he wishes to be a Peer Support Leader and help Year 9 students settle into life at Trident as well as he has, feeling like there is nothing to worry about and feeling a whole lot more grown up than when he left Intermediate.

Like Dahrius, Year 9 student Jonte Moore thoroughly enjoyed the Peer Support Programme. He says getting to know senior students was really cool and he feels comfortable with them and being in a big group of students now. The fun activities meant Jonte got to know people in his group a lot better even though he had known them previously from Intermediate. He says that his Peer Support Leaders Joel, Taryn and Lachie were super helpful and he felt like they really enjoyed working with the junior students. They are approachable and friendly so Jonte feels like he will happily go talk to them around the school over the year. Jonte enjoyed the Beach Day as it was a chance to put new skills to use in his group and now feels very settled at Trident and knows what it means to be a Trident student.

Year 13 student Maia Alexandre is a Peer Support Leader and has had a great time with her group of fellow Year 13 leaders and their Year 9 students. As a Year 9 student, Maia recalled her experience of Peer Support as being super helpful in settling into Trident, especially having come here from Wellington and not knowing anyone. From this experience she knew she wanted to give back to the school by being in the programme that set her up here and is so pleased she has been a part of it. Aside from her focus on giving back, Maia has benefited personally. She says being in a leadership role has helped with her social skills - specifically in how she can relate effectively as a leader to younger students. Maia must have done well with this relationship building as her group went from being shy Year 9’s to outgoing students who wanted to have a go at everything which Maia was so pleased to see at the Beach Day. Maia’s Year 9 students have flourished under her groups leadership and she hopes they will continue their relationship over the year.

Trident is grateful and pays thanks to our Year 13 Peer Support Leaders for their awesome mentoring of our Year 9 students.

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