Mount St. Michael Secondary School

Big Sister / Little Sister

Big Sister Little Sister (BSLS) Mentoring Programme

The essence of the Big Brother Big Sister programme is rooted in the most fundamental human relationships: a caring interaction between two people, one older than the other. Out of this interaction young people develop in ways that will make them more likely to succeed in the transition from adolescence to adulthood.

This programme generally involves fifth year students as Bigs, mentoring first- year students. Mentoring activities take place in the school premises and can therefore be monitored and supported by a member of the school staff dedicated to the programme. The aim is to provide additional support to young people who have made the transition from primary to secondary education.

The programme in Mount St. Michael matches First Years to Fifth Year students and it creates a fantastic opportunity for the First Years to get to know their new school and take part in weekly fun activities, whilst building a friendship with an older student. The students meet once a week over the school year and participate in games, sports, making lunch etc, in the school.

In each school, there is a designated teacher who links in with the local BSLS Officer. Our officer is Peter Duffy.

Here are some quotes from last years sisters..

‘It was great fun and I really enjoyed the meetings.’

‘I loved all the fun things we did together'

‘I really enjoyed meeting my Little Sister, and now have a life-long friend.

‘A worthwhile experience.’

Objectives for the Mentees (1st Years)*

Through participation in the programme mentees will:

  • Have the opportunity to develop a supportive friendship in a safe environment
  • Increase their confidence and self-esteem through the relationship they will develop with their Big Sister
  • Have a positive role in their school lives
  • Have a positive developmental programme linked to their formal education
  • Have a medium through which to discuss issues of concern to them
  • Have fun

Objectives for the Mentors (5th Years)

Through participation in the programme mentors will:

  • Develop friendships
  • Increase their self-confidence through training provided as part of the programme
  • Enhance their communication skills
  • Increase their self-esteem through positive affirmation by school and BSLS personnel
  • Be provided with the opportunity to contribute positively to the school community
  • Realise the importance and benefits of volunteering.

Due to numbers, not all who apply can get on the programme; it is decided upon interview according to suitability and need.

Claremorris Co. Mayo F12TY09
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