Coaching Experience – Years 11 & 6

Brent Brickhill, Instructional Coach

It is a joy to watch the Year 11 student coaches and Year 6 coachees engage in deep conversation as they make their way from Chapel at St. Andrew’s to the Wellbeing Centre on Fridays. 

After some familiarisation activities early this term, the student coaches have led their coachee through conversations to establish a personal learning goal.  The goals they have selected vary from improving mathematic skills to building more focus in class.  It is great to see each Year 11 student coach show genuine concern and support his coachee to meet their selected goal.  Together they consider possible actions, decide on an approach and discuss strategies for making it reality.

As a school, we have been successfully engaged in adult coaching with teaching staff for many years.  In Term 1, through the Leading and Learning program, all Year 11 boys engaged in reciprocal coaching training.  To date, eighteen of these students have self-nominated to support a Year 6 student across Terms 2, 3 and 4.  These eighteen students were further trained to coach younger students around learning, sporting, cultural or social goals using a Growth approach. Around five times each term, the Year 11 student coaches check in with the Year 6 boy to discuss progress, refine approaches to challenges and set new goals.  Ongoing training and support is provided for the student coaches between coaching sessions by myself, as Instructional Coach, and Nicole Clark, Leading and Learning Teacher.

Already the highlights from the start of the program have been many, including the positive impact on the student coaches themselves. Benefits have included: the improvement of overall confidence in interactions, improved listening skills, improvements in their ability to empathise and the support for other students when working towards their goals.  The eighteen Year 6 students are enthusiastic to regularly meet their coach and share their exciting progress against their goals.

We know coaching works with adults.  It is great to see this learning approach being so readily adopted by our students.