THE HISTORY OF ACADEMIC PEER MENTORING AT CSHS
Informally students teach one another constantly. In 2016 a Year 7 student had a peer mentor in Year 11 for Maths. They met once a week for 45 minutes in the library. This tutoring was the maintaining of an arrangement by both families from primary school. It continued till the mentor graduated in Year 12. The student’s grades improved and this sowed a seed for us.
In 2018, five students from the Year 11 Maths Specialist Program starting tutoring seven students in Academic Extension Years 7, 8 and 9 to foster Maths inquiry. This quickly grew to include other subjects, year groups and ability levels. We now have over 100 students.
We supply an afternoon snack and iced and hot teas are available. As we encourage sustainable habits, we ask students to bring their own cups.
About once a term we have some sort of celebration.
WHY BE A MENTOR?
- helps with revision;
- is proven that helping others to learn a concept cements and strengthens your own understanding;
- is good for your resume;
- helps you develop social skills and the ability to collaborate;
- builds cross-year relationships which is great for our school community;
- reinforces reliability, responsibility and the need to communicate;
- gives leadership experience;
- fosters skills for university assessments which often require group work, brainstorming and the sharing of ideas;
- enhances scholarship applications for university or programs like Zero2Hero;
- earns house colours and points;
- is acknowledged with certification.
WHY BE A MENTEE?
Students say it….
- teaches you to be responsible for your own learning (Mentors don’t prepare lessons). You have to be proactive;
- helps you ascertain where the problem areas are in your tests; gets your homework done;
- helps you gain insight into what content and pathways there are in coming years by informally chatting;
- helps you work out your own calendar and possible clashes. You have to text your mentor when you are sick or going to be absent;
- encourages you to email and chat electronically to problem solve; is acknowledged with certification; is fun!
Students choose to be part of the program and arrangements are only made if they guarantee reliability.
- A supervising teacher is present in the library.
- A teacher tutoring program runs concurrently so there are alternative ways of having support.
- If for any reason your child wants to opt out, please let the Academic Performance Manager-Lower School know as they will contact the mentor.
- In the event of someone becoming ill, mentors/mentees need to notify one another; hopefully 24 hours before. The APM-LS does not need to be informed. Please ensure your child has swapped their details.
Mara started tutoring us for Year 10 Physics. We had a lot of laughs but the serious thing was my grades improved. It wasn’t only in Science it happened. She told me stuff about Geography and ultimately my HASS grade improved. She even helped me write a sentence better in English. It’s not just about Mara though. I think working with a couple of friends helped and also my attitude to study matured and I worked independently more effectively.
Christie Jansen van Vuuren