Meitheal Leaders 2016-2017 [Mentor: Mr. Tom Quilter]
Rebecca Bailey, Tom Dillane, Helen Doran, Rachel Dreelan, Maja Dumana, Lauren English-Adams, Cora Finn, Oran Fitzpatrick, Jack Hobbs, Glenn Jacob, Robbie Kavanagh, Harry McCafferty, Megan Maher, Aoife M. Murphy, Katelin Murphy, Caoimhe O’Brien, Sean Redmond, Michael Rossiter & Niamh Treacy.
The Meitheal Programme in Co. Wexford is a training programme for students at senior level in secondary schools. Students are trained to become mentors for incoming students at junior level. It is a programme based on respect between students and one that enables students to take responsibility for the safety and well-being of all who share a school environment.
In F.C.J. Bunclody the programme is advertised among 5th Year students who are invited to apply. All applicants are interviewed and the students chosen to become Meitheal Leaders undergo a training programme in the summer prior to their return to school in September. This training programme covers the areas of personal development, identity, self-esteem, communication skills, listening skills, assertiveness skills, group dynamics, group management and many other skills that are necessary for the students to develop if the programme is to be successful.
After their training the students return to the school as 6th years and are given responsibility for a number of incoming 1st years. The Meitheal Leaders ensure the smooth transition of 1st Years into the school and are available to assist them in any way necessary during their first few days in school. After this initial work they work with the junior students, developing a relationship of trust and mutual respect. If a junior student should experience difficulties or anxieties of any kind they can turn to their Meitheal Leaders and find in them understanding, respect, advice and assistance. In this school the programme has proven to be very effective in promoting the happiness of students in general as well as reducing instances of bullying and isolation.