Penrice Launches Us Plus Student Team

There was an exciting development in Penrice Academy’s Emotional Health and Wellbeing support infrastructure this week where 18 Year 9 students were trained to become the school’s first ever Us Plus student team.

The aim of the programme is to create a team of young people able to support the emotional, mental health and wellbeing of their peers, particularly those in the younger year groups.

Based in the Thrive Room and led by Mrs Taylor, the training involved the development of teamwork, listening and safeguarding skills.

L-R Poppy, Scarlett and Katie

Poppy explained:

“Today we’re training to become the school’s first ever Us Plus student team. We’re going to be here to help people who want to talk to someone, just to get their feelings out and make them feel a bit better.”

Katie added:

“We’ve been working on how to make aspects of the school more approachable and more accessible to all people, trying to make sure that everyone understands that students and teachers are all affected by mental health.”

The long term plans are for the 18-strong team to remain in place as Us Plus student mentors until the end of Year 11, when they will then aid in training up a new cohort of Year 9 mentors to continue the scheme.

Scarlett finished by explaining her reasons for volunteering for the scheme and said:

“I just thought it would be really nice for people to be able to have students in Year 9 that they are able to talk to. It offers a different channel to a teacher; it doesn’t have to be a big thing and they can talk to us if they’re feeling low or having an off day.”