Supporting Marlborough Girls’ to reach for the Stars

Stars students

Source: Marlborough Express

A mentoring programme run by the Graeme Dingle Foundation at Marlborough Girls’College and supported by Marlborough Lines and Outward Bound, has been a “game changer” for students and school culture.

The programme, Stars, pairs all Year Nines with senior students trained by Graeme Dingle Foundation staff in mentorship. Students get together weekly to follow a programme that addresses life skills such as goal setting, time management, good communication skills and building positive relationships.

Marlborough Girls1 College principal Mary-Jeanne Lynch says Stars provides integral support for younger students with the often tricky transition into secondary school and adolescence while enhancing the resilience and mental health and wellbeing of students.

“Stars follows the tuakana teina model which goes hand-in-hand with our school values,” Mary-Jeanne says.

“In our case big sisters (tuakana) support their little sisters (teina) to help foster whanaungatanga – a strong sense of self, their place in the world and a strong set of values – all of which puts them in a great place to excel at learning and thrive and contribute within their communities.”

All students taking part in the programme, together with their whanau teachers head away to Outward Bound on an adventure camp, where students can bond while building resilience and working together as a team.

Graeme Dingle Foundation Marlborough general manager Kelvin Watt says the outdoor components, led by professional outdoor facilitators help draw out the key learnings which are all based on the school’s values.

The feedback we hear from students and teachers is that the shared experiences they have together on camp are invaluable for providing a deeper connection that they don’t have the opportunity to do in the classroom,” Kelvin says.

Stars was rolled out at Marlborough Girls1 College in 2020 as a pilot for the region, and was made possible by the region’s electricity distribution company Marlborough Lines, which has committed to donating $80,000 a year towards the camp, for five years.

The funding has been “huge” for the school and students, they say.

‘The fact that everyone can go to camp and not have to pay is huge, that accessibility and equity is a really important component of the success of the programme,” Kelvin says.

“Not only has the Stars programme helped our students develop a whole host of invaluable life skills, but there has also been a reduction in the number of stand downs and suspensions since the programme began,” Mary-Jeanne says.

“We are very fortunate and privileged to have the support of Marlborough Lines, Graeme Dingle Foundation, Outward Bound and our teaching staff to deliver this amazing programme to our students.”

Preparing for natural hazards The recent climate related events, including Cyclone Gabrielle, have served as an unfortunate reminder of the natural hazards present in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Marlborough Is not Immune, with large earthquakes, high winds, flooding and/or land movement all possible.

Marlborough Lines’ entire network is supplied by Transpower’s transmission grid. A failure of the transmission grid could result in a network wide power outage for Marlborough, even if Marlborough Lines1 network is fully operational.

While our electricity network generally does not have regular and/or prolonged outages, we encourage you to consider your own circumstances in the (unlikely) event that you are without power for a considerable period of time as a result of a natural hazard.

Whether you are a business dependent on electricity for manufacturing or production, or someone living at home whose health Is dependent on electrical devices, we strongly encourage you to consider your backup electricity supply needs.

Please contact Marlborough Lines if you have any questions about this issue, our friendly team is here to help.

Safety disconnections Painting, clearing roof spouting or undertaking other maintenance close to live overhead service lines is very dangerous. To stay safe we recommend that you arrange for the power to be temporarily disconnected.

Marlborough Lines needs at least 72-hours’ notice (three working days) to arrange your safety disconnection. H you provide more notice, you will have more options to choose a time to suit you.

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