Phorms Campus Berlin Süd – Students spellbound by puberty expert Anne Wilkening
The annual visit from Anne Wilkening, a qualified psychologist and specialist in addiction prevention and health, has become an integral part of school tradition at the Phorms Campus Berlin Süd. This partnership began a few years ago after a Phorms mother recommended it, and the visits have since become an essential event in the school calendar. Ms Wilkening’s useful and interactive talks mainly cover key, sensitive issues, all geared towards raising awareness and preventing addiction and violence of any kind. When the psychologist comes to the campus, she works with each year group for 90 minutes and holds a parents’ event in the evening entitled ‘How do I get my kid through puberty?’ – a challenging phase for everyone involved. Valérie Hardt, head of secondary school, believes it is important that students take away valuable insights from Ms Wilkening’s talks and feel comfortable during them: ‘This awareness and prevention work is a key part of the timetable. But it’s much more crucial that Anne Wilkening’s approach gets through to students and creates an atmosphere of trust, where they feel comfortable asking questions that they might be afraid to ask their parents, friends or teachers.’ This is the very approach the psychologist uses – the teachers are often not even present during her talks. The students’ feedback is always overwhelmingly positive, because they feel they can trust Ms Wilkening as an expert and talk to her about anything. They appreciate the wealth of knowledge and experience she conveys in her talks, which are also funny at times. She knows how to inspire children and teenagers and always leaves a lasting impression on them. If that encourages the students to take a critical look at their mindset and actions, it means they’re already taking the first preventative step. In Ms Wilkening, the students have a solid, trusted point of contact, who knows them and their problems inside out and shows up every year to see how they’re getting on – a crucial constant during the instability of their adolescent years.