Community, Education

Girls’ College students shoot for the Stars

Year 9 student Brylee Evans, left, and year 13 pupil Tatiana Manoa think the Stars programme will be a big success. Photo: Paula Hulburt.

A pilot programme geared towards helping new students settle in secondary school has been unveiled in Marlborough.

From next year, Marlborough Girls’ College students will benefit from the introduction of the Graeme Dingle Foundation Marlborough’s “Stars” programme.

The initiative will see incoming Year 9 students paired up with senior students in a bid to make the transition easier.

Local GP, Dr Rachel Inder has been one of the instigators behind the scheme.

Working together with the team from the Graeme Dingle Foundation and Marlborough Girls’ College, Rachel says they has been looking at ways to boost health and well-being among students.

“We have been looking at various ways we can enhance the health and wellbeing of Marlborough students.

“The Stars programme is exactly the solution we have been looking for, as it builds trusting relationships that enables the students to reach out to each other in times of need,” she says.

Graeme Dingle Foundation Marlborough regional manager Kelvin Watt says the initiative is the “missing piece of the puzzle” for junior college students.

“Stars is the next step of a student’s journey as they move on into secondary school.

“It strengthens young people for that tricky transition into secondary school – through training and supporting older students to mentor and walk alongside the new Year 9s,” he says.

Approximately 250 Year 9 students, and 50 seniors will be involved in the scheme which will take three parts.

An adventure camp will kickstart the programme to help develop relationships and teamwork, followed by peer mentoring and a community project.

Marlborough Girls’ College principal, Mary-Jeanne Lynch says she believes students will benefit from increased self-confidence and resilience.

It will help also help students develop a sense of responsibility and connectedness to the school and the wider community, she says.

“It’s a giant win-win and we are over the moon to be able to start the pilot next year.”

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