The Meitheal Programme
The Meitheal Programme is a training programme for students at senior level in secondary schools, enabling them to become mentors for incoming students at junior level.
Each Meitheal leader is given responsibility for a small group of incoming first years. It is her job to help the younger students adapt to their new school, make friends and successfully make the transition from primary to secondary school
The programme has been effective in promoting the happiness of students in general as well as reducing incidences of bullying, isolation and early school leaving.
Meitheal – Mission Statement
The Meitheal Programme seeks to promote and foster good relationships within the school community thus creating a secure, safe and co-operative environment.
“Meitheal” – origin of the word
The name Meitheal was taken from an old Irish tradition where farmers living in the same area would gather together to support one another and work collectively to bring in the crops. This built up strong friendships and respect among the people involved in the Meitheal.
A Meitheal Leader continues in this spirit by encouraging support and a sense of community in the school environment.
Meitheal Leaders do the following:
- Attend weekly meetings with school Meitheal Co-ordinator during lunch break.
- Help organise and run the annual Induction Day during school holidays before new students start in First year.
- Take responsibility for a group of First year students from September onwards.
- Meet first year students formally (during class time) and informally (during break and lunch time) throughout the school year, be available to them and assist them with any difficulties they may have.
- Organise activities designed to help new students get to know their class mates and to settle in.
Some activities organised by Meitheal Leaders
- Guided tour of school building
- “Getting to know you” activities
- Help with understanding timetable
- Answering questions relating to school procedures
- Helping resolve friendship issues
- Organising fun activities for 1st year students. These may include
- Talent shows
- End of term party
- Fancy dress party
- Table quizzes
- Treasure hunts
- Easter egg hunt
Meitheal Leaders 2021 / 22