Mrs Chilton
Head of Student Wellbeing

One of the most important protective factors for young people is developing connection and belonging to community. Belonging is our number one social and emotional need. At Meriden, one of the ways we try to ensure that students develop this sense of belonging is by cultivating relationships across year groups.

This week the ‘Big Sister’ mentoring program between Year 10 and Year 7 begins. During this program Year 10 girls will run pastoral sessions over several weeks with Year 7 students on a range of topics, such as friendship, schoolwork and navigating the transition to high school. These sessions are student developed and led, and we are looking forward to seeing the connections that are forged between these year groups.

At Music Camp this week, we also saw the girls interact with one another across year groups, mentoring, supporting, and creating incredible music together. The Year 12 night at Music Camp was a wonderful example of the power of belonging to community, and each year we see the younger girls get excited and plan for what they will do when they are in Year 12.

At the end of Term 1, the Cadets had a wonderful week away at AFX. It has been heartening to hear stories of girls checking in with one another in the night of torrential rain and navigating the challenges of the camp together. I love seeing cadets across year groups chatting together in the playground at recess and lunch. Cross-year mentoring does not just happen on camp!

There are many other ways that these vertical connections are created in the school – like sport, cocurricular clubs, service initiatives and more – and they are incredibly important in shaping a positive school culture and supporting student wellbeing.

If your daughter is not making the most of the opportunities to develop connections with other students in the school, I encourage you to reach out to her Year Coordinator to discuss her cocurricular involvement, or to Mr Richard Hughes, the Dean of Student Involvement –