Informal Peer Mentoring Policy
General Notes on Cottesmore Informal Peer Mentoring System
- Peer Mentoring at Cottesmore is a form of informal mentorship that takes place between a pupil who has been at the School for a certain amount of time usually in the year above (Peer Mentor) and a person who has less experience (the peer Mentee) usually someone in the year below.
- The Peer Mentor reports to their own Form Tutor, Pastoral Tutors or directly to the Headmaster if anything is rasied that needs the attention of a Staff Member. The Staff Member will then take on the concern following the usually policies.
- This is similar but separate to the ‘Shadow’ and 'Substance' system, which is put in place for when a pupil first comes to the School.
- This system should encourage good feelings amongst peers and the development of friendships.
- Peer Mentoring supports the other structures in the pupil pastoral support framework, including the work of the Pastoral Tutor Groups and Form Tutor Groups.
- Successful mentors tend to be available, knowledgeable, educated in diversity issues, empathic, personable, encouraging, supportive, and passionate.
Notes for the Mentor and Mentee
- It is up to the peer mentor and the peer mentee how often they meet. It is usually advised that mentors and Mentees meet more often in the beginning of the relationship in order to establish a good foundation.
- If either the peer mentor or peer mentee is not happy with the alliance, they should see Head's Wife to find out if there are any other options. The compatibility of mentor and mentee is a factor that will be taken into consideration when choosing pairs. Mentors and Mentees may benefit from having similar backgrounds, interests and life experiences. (e.g. a pupil from an army background may be a good mentor for someone who has experienced a similar lifestyle);
- If the mentor is worried about their mentee’s happiness, well-being, they must go to their Form Tutor or Pastoral Tutor for advice. The normal procedures will then follow: if necessary, the Staff Member should be guided by the Staff Code of Conduct, the Safeguarding Policy, the Anti-bullying policy, the Sanctions Policy, the DSL, the Deputy Head or the Head.
Monitoring of the Peer Mentoring System – The Head
- At least once a year – although it is likely to be much more often – the Head will informally assess the success of Peer Mentoring: the Peer Mentoring system is informal and the feedback will come through conversation with both Mentors and Mentees. Staff Members, and the pupils themselves, will also report if there are any issues with the system itself.
- At the beginning of every term, the Head will encourage pupils to talk to their Peer Mentors if they need to.
- Examples of advice from Peer Mentors could be as follows: how to use the phone; how to perform a certain duty (like Letters, Chapel Monitoring or Newspapers); advice on how to get the most out of their next year at Cottesmore and so forth.
- The Head will encourage Mentors to report any concerns they have about their Mentees to theor Form Tutors, Pastoral Tutors or directly to the Headmaster.