What is Peer Mediation?
Peer Mediation is a process where those involved in a disagreement volunteer to discuss the issues and explore how best to take matters forward. It requires them to operate within a whole school ethos, which is itself restorative. Children and young people can be more comfortable talking to someone of their own age who understands their concerns and their perspective. Through the mediation process pupils learn to listen to others' points of view and to accept differences.
What does it give the school?
- provides a safe structure for children and young people to solve their problems and learn to negotiate.
- can reinforce a positive ethos and sustain pupil motivation.
- can build a supportive environment and help to sustain the overall wellbeing within a school.
What does it give the pupils?
All children learn the basic skills of communication and conflict resolution and develop the coping skills that they will need outside and beyond school.
Children who are trained as Bishop Buddies develop additional skills in communication, negotiation, understanding and problem solving. Acting as mediators helps to promote young people's emotional and social skills and builds self-esteem and confidence.
How Does Peer Mediation work at Bishop Lonsdale?
At the beginning of each year, two children are selected to be Bishop Buddies, from each class (Year 1-6).
When on duty, the Bishop Buddies always work in pairs. They wear a blue tabard and a small bag which contains a notebook, pencil, a pack of tissues and a prompt card.
As Bishop Buddies, the children are trained to act as mediators in a dispute without help from teachers. This empowers children and develops their sense of community and co-operation.
The school and classrooms become more peaceful, allowing more teaching and learning to take place.
Peer Mediation takes place during Lunchtime and at breaktime. Peers mediators deal with low-level disputes and always refer to school staff when a situation becomes too complex for them to handle.