T.A.R.A.H. (Thornhill Against Racism and Harassment) is the name of a group of pupils who are trained Peer Mentors in school who work to improve the Thornhill Experience for other pupils who may be having difficulty for whatever reason.
The TARAH Group consists of pupils who are trained in Year 9 and who continue to be Peer Mentors until they leave Thornhill and beyond. TARAH Peer Mentors have gone on to be mentors at College and University. One pupil came back to tell us he was a peer mentor at Cambridge University.
We train approximately 30 pupils each year for this role. The training starts with two days of sessions with Professionals from outside agencies such as the Youth Offending Service, School Nurse, Child Exploitation and Online Protection Team as well as school based issues/guidelines. Sessions include, Icebreakers, Definitions of Bullying, Confidentiality, Mediation, Restorative Justice, Self Harm as well as role play scenarios.
Thirty two Year 9 pupils have just successfully completed their training in February to join our team.All Peer Mentors wear purple braid on their blazer sleeves so they are identifiable around school. A pupil or parent can request a peer mentor to talk to them or a Head of House can suggest one as another level of intervention/support.
We have had a team of TARAH Peer Mentors in school since 1990 and their role has evolved over time to deal with new issues/situations in different ways. They have won a number of awards including The Diana Princess of Wales Anti-Bullying Award TEN years in a row.
They have a room in the LRC. They work with pupils from Primary schools in Y6 and when pupils first start Thornhill in Y7 Peer Mentors are allocated to all new tutor groups to help pupils settle in and find their way around our school site.