In recent years, there has been a heightened concern for children’s mental well-being and stress level, especially amid the pandemic situation. A school-wide approach in supporting student wellbeing through peers is critical, as we believe that strong and caring peer relationships are at the heart of effective support for students to strengthen their resilience. This belief is also in line with our school vision and mission where NCzens are inspired to be caring citizens with a positive mindset who served with empathy. The peer support culture is established through a tiered approach.
First, through Character and Citizenship Education, we seek to establish a peer support culture in every classroom where all students are taught to be kind and caring, to identify their social circle of support, and recognise signs of distress. NCzens are encouraged to provide social and emotional support to one another, and facilitate help-seeking by alerting trusted adults when their friends encounter difficulties. In doing so, we hope to achieve the vision of ‘Every Student a Peer Supporter’ at NCHS.
Second, we are establishing a peer support structure by 2022 where Peer Support Leaders (PSLs) are appointed at class level, alongside with the existing Class Council, to take on a more active role in looking out for their peers. The PSLs will be trained in Peer-Bonding and Peer-Helping to listen actively, respond with empathy, manage conflicts, and encourage early help-seeking and positive coping strategies. At steady stage, Peer Support EXCO (PSE) will be formed by strong PSLs to carry out Peer-Influencing at the school level by implementing initiatives to promote mental wellness and pro-social behaviours. This effort complements NCHS’s Power of Positivity where students celebrate relationships and mutual support that engenders comfort in friends through the Power of Giving.