Peer Mentors Launch Social Media Education Campaign | Epsom College
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Peer Mentors Launch Social Media Education Campaign

Epsom's long-standing peer mentoring programme has been a vital part of wellbeing and community cohesion at the College. This year, students launched an initiative to help parents understand social media from a teenager's point of view.

A team of Lower Sixth peer mentors have used their experience and expertise of mobile phones and technology to produce a series of short videos to raise awareness of different social media platforms. The films (see below) offer practical tips for staying safe online and offer advice on what to do when things go wrong.

Chris Filbey, Assistant Head: Pupil Wellbeing, says: “Teenagers’ use of technology changes all the time and is incredibly difficult for parents and adults to manage, given most did not grow up with this technology themselves. This is therefore such a brilliant idea from these peer mentors. It should be a hugely valuable resource for parents and staff alike”.

What teenagers think

Lower Sixth peer mentors, Quintus, Wilf, Daniel, Owen, Thomas and Nigel, explain more: “There is no denying that social media is a major part of any teenager’s life. When we were in Year 9, we all felt frustrated by our parents’ lack of knowledge about social media, and the very harsh restrictions and limits that they set as a result of this.”

To help combat this, the team created a series of videos which you can view below. They say: “In these, we explain how different social media apps work. While we explain the risks, we also delve into the many benefits that social media brings. We also cover how you can train your algorithm, to show you posts that you actually want to see, as well as how to restrict and block negative users. We hope these videos will help parents properly understand the basics of social media, so that they can begin to have constructive conversations about it with their children.”

Epsom’s peer mentor programme

This year, over 50 Lower Sixth pupils volunteered to become peer mentors. As Rhiannon Johnson, one of the teachers leading peer mentoring at Epsom says: “The programme trains pupils to be supportive members of the College community; helping individual pupils, visiting local prep and primary schools to deliver talks on internet safety, or being founding members of new initiatives such as Menstrual Cycle Support, to name but a few ways in which they have helped this year.”