Bingley Grammar School

Mr Atkinson's Friday Update
Written by Yr 10 Lucy Holt

Dear parents/carers,

I would like to start by thanking Mr Atkinson for asking me for today’s article.

I am going to be writing about Peer Mentoring which Minaal mentioned in her update.

As a reminder, Peer Mentoring is a project set up by YMCA Bradford which Bingley Grammar is running for Years 9, 10 and 11 in order to provide us with an opportunity to help future Year 6’s, Year 7’s and 8’s who may need some extra guidance in the beginnings of their secondary school experience.

Personally, I probably would have found Peer Mentoring something to consider as a new year 7 when the transition was harder than expected; in knowing that the transition is full of so many ups and downs I felt inspired to take part in the project. I remember imagining the entrance of high school being like the American films, where you waltz through the hallways, have food fights in the cafeteria and not attend a single lesson. Sadly, despite all the great efforts that were made to welcome us to the school, that was not the reality. I am still waiting for the food fight to be organised by the way, Mr Atkinson.

I hope that through the program my fellow mentors and I can support the younger years in opening their eyes to the opportunities they have around them and potentially improving a difficult situation. My role would be to be a friendly face to the student and advise on any concerns, not a therapist or a best friend but someone that can relate to them and the confusion that comes with being a developing teenager at a new, big school.

Mental Health is a subject that we as a society are only just acknowledging. Peer Mentoring is just one of the many ways that we are trying to make the school experience easier. Don’t get me wrong, older years like year 10 and specifically year 11 upwards have a very tough time with exams and expectations but it is pivotal that we aid the younger years with stress. At such an important stage in life, their mental health is a first priority and Peer Mentoring is an optimistic project for bettering wellbeing. I believe that we often misunderstand the difficulties for children of this age because it seems like the time you should be going to the park and trying 100’s of new fashion styles, only to see a picture 3 years later and wonder what you were thinking. And while an element of that remains, many of us now spend hours only taking photos with filters on and skipping past times of discovering ourselves.

I wish to be that person who can offer knowledge on how to deal with an incident that I may have struggled with at the same time.

In conclusion, I hope any parents of a year 6,7 or 8 child that struggles a bit in school can look at the Peer Mentoring program as a chance to better their environment and inspire a change.

Yours sincerely,

Lucy Holt

Year 10

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