In May 2017, 20 year 5 pupils spent two days training as peer mediators with a team from the Young Peacemakers Project at CRESST in Sheffield. We are one of the first schools outside Sheffield to work with them, and hope that the introduction of Peer Mediation will lead to a quieter playground, making lunchtimes a better experience for everyone. In March 2018, we began recruiting for our next cohort, this time from Years 4 & 5.
Young Peacemakers Project
CRESST’s whole school approach for primary schools which includes pupil and staff training in conflict resolution skills and approaches, supporting schools recruiting volunteer mediators and then setting up a sustainable mediation scheme to work in school. CRESST undertakes evaluation visits of each school we have worked in to produce a case study demonstrating impact. The annual Peer Mediation Conference at the University in January brings active schools together with a celebration day for the volunteer mediators.
The children learn:
Read on to find out what the children say about these roles.
Being a peer mediator is really fun because we help children in the playground, sometimes the children are who are upset or hurt. We have a lot of responsibility and when we communicate with the children in the playground we use our ability to listen to them and to respect them and we never say WHY, take sides or gossip about the problems we have just sorted out as it is confidential.
Here are some comments from our Peer Mediators.
“I think I have an impact as a peer mediator in the playground because I’m calm, I always stick to the script we have on the lanyard when I’m on duty and I’m kind”.
“I would recommend being a Peer Mediator because I think being a Peer Mediator is a good job to have, because you get to know more children and they come to you if they have a problem”.
“I feel it is important to have Peer Mediators in the playground so people don’t get sad. If there were not any Peer Mediators, the teachers can’t solve lots of problems all at the same time”.
“I like being a Peer Mediator because I like being helpful and kind, also it has given me confidence to talk to other children”.
“I think that as a Peer Mediator I don’t just help children in the playground, I also help the other younger Peer Mediators when they are having difficulties resolving problems. Lots of problems occur in the playground and we help to resolve them, sometimes we give teachers a hand”.
“When we are in the playground the children know who we are and they trust us to help them”.
“We help in the playground because there are not that many people that are upset any more”.
“I feel like being a Peer Mediator has given me confidence to confront my peers and not to be shy, also it gives you skills to use in the future to help other people. It feels great to see a smile after you have helped a child when they are sad. It is so rewarding”.
“Being a Peer Mediator in the playground is important because when you are feeling sad and don’t want to go to a teacher, a Peer Mediator can come and help”.