Year 13 students, Alia and Huda, have spearheaded the introduction of a new pupil-led pastoral system at Ffynone. They have worked with Head of PSHE, Mrs Walsh, to select a team of advisers who will form our first STEP advisory team. The launch assembly coincided with World Mental Health Day, so all out students wore yellow accessories to show their awareness of this issue. Here, the girls tell us how the STEP system works and how it will benefit students across the school.
This was the week that a student-led pastoral system called STEP was launched. STEP stands for Solving, Teaching, and Encouraging Potential, and is comprised of a group of students that will be trained to handle a variety of situations that a pupil may face in school.
Who are the members of STEP?
Our new advisers (pictured above) are in Year 11. They have completed an application form and have undergone an interview process. This has helped decide which group of individuals are most suited for the role.
What will they do?
The group will teach others how to deal with friendship issues, be confident in themselves and will welcome any potential new students. These may be new pupils joining STEP, or students joining the school midway through an academic year.
They will also work on issues surrounding relationships, bereavement, illness and family problems. As well as resolving these more serious cases, STEP will be running a drop-in service during registration or appointed times during the day, where pupils are free to access support, advice and guidance.
As well as this, those who choose to become a STEP adviser will be attached to different year groups, where they will organise fun games and activities to encourage pupils to work together and build self-esteem.
STEP advisers are trained to deal with cases in the most supportive and effective way possible. With this in mind, the advisers will undergo training at MIND and Gorfal, Mental Health charities, and The NSPCC.
Why have we introduced STEP?
This programme has been introduced for younger pupils to help them become the best that they can be and feel secure in themselves and their environment.
However, STEP is also an opportunity that allows the older advisers to gain exposure to issues that influence peoples mental health and happiness. Members of STEP have the chance to attend various workshops and gain skills that work to their advantage, in particular when applying for university. It may also help them to be more aware of their own mental health and more able to deal with any difficult situations they may find themselves in the future.
STEP’s main message is for everyone to be successful by whatever means possible. No one should have to suffer in silence and no one should have to be alone. We want every pupil to have a sense of accomplishment during their time at Ffynone.