I am not a 12-year-old boy growing up in the 21st century. I confess I never have been. I am female and I went to secondary school in the 90s when (here comes the familiar refrain) there were no phones and no internet and friends communicated with vocal sounds. Even for the young and vigorous Shell form tutors, those early teen years are a distant memory from a former era.
But what if there were sensible, intelligent, nearly-adult people who knew exactly what it is like to be Shell or a Rem in this day and age? Now, those people might have some useful insights and advice.
Such is the backdrop for our newly launched pilot peer guidance programme. An initiative conceived and driven by the Division boys, the programme places two Division guides with each Shell and Rem form for the rest of the academic year. The older boys go into the forms once a week, something that will be immeasurably more beneficial when we are no longer on Zoom. The programme aims to build relationships between year groups and to allow Divisions to support younger boys with various aspects of school life. In doing so the Divisions will develop leadership and communication skills and demonstrate commitment, responsibility and reliability.
The Divisions have received safeguarding training and the programme is overseen by Miss Lee who meets the peer guides regularly.