It is summer and while some 11 and 12 year olds might have been “chillaxing” and vegetating in front of the television over the past two days, first formers of the Graydon Sealy Secondary School were busily engaged in a mentorship programme at their new school.
The programme, which is in its third year, was themed, Giving Back to Our Own While Promoting All Aspects of Our Growth.
Mentor Adrian Yarde told Barbados TODAY that the two-day mentorship programme is an arm of the school’s alumni and was developed in an effort to make the learning experience and conversion from primary school to secondary school a lot easier.
“Basically we provide the link between the school, parents, teachers and the children… I have seen a change over the two days from the first day and asking who wanted to go to the Garrison School and two hands went up to till the last day [today] when everyone was excited and could not wait to get to school because the programme makes it so comfortable to know the classroom and where everything is… It is not like they will be entering as a stranger [to] the school [but they will be more aware],” Yarde said.
He continued that they will be moving from a school where they had one teacher to an institution where several will be present, learning seven and eight subjects and as such the programme will provide a good transition for them.
“We also do some work for the parents transitioning into a newer secondary school. The parent has to go through that transition, we also do sessions with [them] on the school rules, the school etiquette what is expected of them, what they should talk to their children about such as goals, about not making their children targets [for thieves],” Yarde added.
The children who only had two days to get comfortable with each other already appeared to be seasoned pupils of the Paddock Road, St. Michael school, holding hands and chatting loudly in the classrooms close to where Barbados TODAY conducted the interview with Yarde.
Two of the newcomers, Crystal Boodhoo and Andrew Garner, shared how they felt about the programme on a whole.
“It was good and you learn a lot of new stuff,” Boodhoo said, the excitement evident in her voice.
Garner added: “It was good and the few people that I meet are now new friends [also] I found helping each other interesting.”
Second former Kayla Walters, who was at the school to assist with the programme, said that although she was disappointed about having attend the school because she was hoping to be at another institution, noted that the alumni service had its place. She then advised the first year students not to fear the principal Matthew Farley because he is no different from everyone else.
“And remember to study your work and not any boys because your work should come first and boys later,” Walters told the girls. (MR)