Peer Mediation is a bullying / aggression prevention program that enhances school climate and can help to increase academic performance as a result of a more relaxed atmosphere.
Peer mediation was introduced to the school a number of years ago. Children from Fifth Class are invited to put themselves forward for a nine week programme which involves training in the skills of mediation and dispute resolution.
Following the training period, interviews are held and the Peer Mediation team is set up. This team begins work at the start of their Sixth Class year.
Two Peer Mediators patrol the third and fourth class yard. They are easily identified by their special black jackets. If a dispute arises on the yard, the children involved are offered the opportunity to have help in resolving their disagreement. Peer Mediators do not solve problems for other students but help them to think of ways to solve problems for themselves in a peaceful manner, using a problem solving approach intended to clarify the nature of the disputes. The main emphasis is on listening and trying to understand the other person’s perspective.
They are helped to reach a solution which is acceptable to both. Agreeing to use Peer Mediation is voluntary. Peer Mediators are not judges but rather facilitators of a unique process that helps students solve their problems without adult intervention. Peer Mediators also benefit from the process. It allows them to gain personal insight and skills that enhance their own self-
The system has been very successful and a welcome addition to the Third and Fourth Class yard.