What is peer mediation?
The purpose of peer mediation is to help children find appropriate ways to respond to problems with others, it is not about telling others what to do. Peer mediators do not "make decisions" but rather work towards a win-win resolution for both sides in order to avoid further conflict.
The children learn:
- To take responsibility for their own behaviour.
- How to be responsive to their peers in a cooperative and constructive manner.
- To improve their own and others communication skills.
- How to be fair and impartial.
- To improve self-esteem.
- Listening skills.
- How to understand conflict and its impact.
How do you become a peer mediator?
Peer Mediation is open to anyone in year 5 or 6. Peer mediation training is provided by ‘Aspire’ where the children learn the above skills. All children are given a certificate of completion and are identified on the playground by a yellow band.
Process of application:
- Complete an application form to apply for the post.
- S. Wright (SENCO), G. Nicholson (Peer Medication Champion) and L. Moczulski (Aspire) review the applications and invite successful applicants to training.
- The children then take part in a series of training sessions supported by current mediators.
- Opportunities for new mediators to shadow experienced mediators are available to gain vital, hands-on experience.
What does the job involve?
Children in the playground, at times, feel they would rather ask a peer mediator to help them resolve their issues in the playground. The mediation process involves two peer mediators sitting in a quiet area with the children involved and finding a resolution. If the mediators feel they are not equipped to deal with the conflict then it is referred to a member of staff. However, our mediators often find that they are able to resolve the situations themselves. Please note that physical altercations are always dealt with by a member of staff.
What support is given to a peer mediator?
Due to the nature of this job and the fact that it can sometimes be demanding, support is always on hand. Regular meetings are held to discuss which strategies are successful when resolving conflicts and any areas with which they require some support. Support offered is on a rota basis to allow the peer mediators time to play and socialise with their friends.
Our mediators say their important role has been extremely beneficial to the children in the playground as well as themselves. The children’s confidence has improved and we think they all do a fantastic job!
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