Alleviating schoolyard issues through student mediation
Peer mediation is designed to contribute to a positive, caring, safe and friendly school environment. The Stride Peer Mediation program helps students identify issues amongst peers and teaches students skills and guidelines for resolving low-level conflicts. Mediation opens up communication channels and allows students to discuss their problems with the guidance of mediators and come to a reasonable resolution.
How Peer Mediation works
School staff are often inundated with student issues that arise at recess and lunch times. While some of these issues require staff attention, many are smaller issues that could be dealt with by a trained group of senior students.
Working in pairs, Peer Mediation trains your students to use the 6 Steps of Mediation to resolve low level issues that may happen between two students at break times. Using listening skills, assertiveness, brainstorming and empathy to navigate these issues, your senior students become your eyes and ears in the school yard. This gives younger students someone they can come to for support and releases your teachers to be more effective across a broader area during the day.
While mediators can and do deal with the majority of student issues, we recognise there are some issues that are too big for them; that’s not a problem. In the mediation workshop the Peer Mediators are trained to know why, when and how to pass on bigger issues to staff, and what to do if disputants ask to maintain confidentiality. They are given the skills, not the responsibility!
Stride’s Peer Mediation program fosters a helping culture within your school and gives younger students a safe and effective forum to seek help, while at the same time, freeing up your teachers. What you may find is a more connected and nurturing school community, as many client schools already have and we certainly trust that is the case.
Links to Australian Curriculum
Personal and Social Capability Learning Continuum
- Contribute to Civil Society – Levels 4, 5
- Negotiate and Resolve Conflict – Levels 4, 5
“Teachers have noted that the school community as a whole have benefited from the implementation of this program in that students have gained vital skills in the form of confidence, leadership and increased levels of self-esteem.”
“Since commencing the program, teachers have not had to deal with as many problems or conflicts, as the peer mediators have actively and successfully utilised their mediation and leadership skills to resolve student conflicts”
Year 5/6 Teacher