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At Dover Court International School (DCIS), the commitment to fostering a sense of community and inclusion is an important part of the learning, especially in the Sixth Form, Years 12 and 13. Beyond academic pursuits, DCIS places a strong emphasis on holistic development, encapsulated in its Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) programme, involving all students in the Sixth Form, regardless of their chosen course of study.
One notable success story in fostering an inclusive ethos is the implementation of peer-to-peer mentoring programmes. Recognising the profound impact of older students guiding and supporting their younger counterparts, DCIS has witnessed the creation of thriving mentorship initiatives. A prime example is the peer coaching programme, where qualified Year 12 student coaches share their expertise in sports with younger DCIS Wolves athletes.
This approach not only cultivates the leadership skills of the mentors but also serves as a catalyst for increased participation in sports among the younger students. The camaraderie established through peer coaching generates a sense of inclusivity and a supportive atmosphere, making sports more appealing to a broader spectrum of students. The knowledge that guidance and encouragement are readily available from older peers instils confidence in younger students, motivating them to actively engage in sports activities.
Period Health Empowerment
Furthermore, DCIS has embarked on an impactful advocacy initiative for period health, now in its fourth consecutive year. Sixth Form students are taking the lead in conducting informative sessions for younger students in the Upper Primary School. These sessions, integrated into the Personal, Social, Health, and Economic (PSHE) education curriculum, break down the stigma and taboos surrounding periods.
By openly discussing period health, older students contribute to normalising this natural aspect of life, thereby diminishing feelings of shame and embarrassment that often accompany the topic.
Belonging at Centre
Assemblies and workshops led by Sixth Form students serve as platforms to educate younger students on vital issues such as Children’s Rights and a deep dive into the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These initiatives highlight the school’s commitment not only to academic excellence but also to nurturing socially responsible and aware global citizens.
The peer education model, where older students provide guidance and support to their younger counterparts, plays a pivotal role in instilling a sense of community and belonging—a core component of DCIS’s values. The strong relationship between the Sixth Form mentors and their mentees contributes to a supportive learning environment, fostering a culture where students feel connected and empowered.