BIG SISTER SCHEME LAUNCHED AT MANCHESTER HIGH PREP
A new pilot programme has been launched in the Preparatory Department which aims to give girls hands-on experience developing their community-building and leadership skills.
Manchester High’s Big Sisters scheme pairs girls in Reception with a partner in Year 6. They read books together once a week, and also share events like a Teddybear’s Picnic and Big Sisters’ Lunch.
The programme means that girls in Reception are welcomed into a group of peers right from the start of their education. Meanwhile, the older girls are able to put the School’s ethos of support and inclusion into practice.
Mrs Nash, Head of Preparatory Department, said: “The programme has proven to be an even greater success than first anticipated. What started as a project to welcome the youngest girls to our School has blossomed into a mutually supportive programme which allows girls of all ages to benefit from our holistic, community-focused approach to education.”
Indeed, the programme has proven to be very popular with students and parents alike. Girls in Reception have said they like seeing their new friends around School, and agree that their Big Sisters make them feel ‘happy, lovely and excited’.
Alekhya, a Year 6 pupil, commented: “I really like reading to the younger girls and showing them around School. Even though Maeve is not my real sister, it’s starting to feel like she is a part of my family.”
Mrs Anderson teaches one of the Prep Reception classes. She said: “The programme has been helpful for all girls, especially for those who are only children. Having an honorary big sister, and feeling part of an extended family, has been really well received by parents as well.”
The resounding success of the scheme means plans are well underway to continue the programme next academic year. Year 5 students have seen the programme in action and are already looking forward to their chance to be Big Sisters, and teachers are confident this type of relationship-building will have a lasting effect on the School’s culture.