A Peer is a person who is equal to another in abilities, qualifications, age, background, and social status
Mediation is the skill of negotiating between the opposing sides in a dispute.
Combined: Peer Mediation is a process, which allows students to handle conflicts with the help of other students who have been trained as mediators.
What are the skills needed to be a Peer Mediator?
There are many times in a child’s life when they encounter conflicts with other students. Whilst this can at times appear to an adult to be ‘trivial’, it can cause a great deal of distress for a child. Having Peer Mediators gives leadership opportunities to students while helping others in the school community learn important ways to solve problems with the support of others. It gives children experience at solving issues before they get bigger and allows them to carry on the rest of the day, knowing that their concerns have been addressed and they gain more confident at solving problems on their own as they gain more confidence.
How does Peer Mediation work at Maramba Primary School?
In Term 1, the Year 5 students are trained to be Peer Mediators. We spend 2 weeks, looking at the different skills, brainstorming conflicts that could arise and role-playing how to deal with them successfully.
At the end of the training, those students who were willing to commit to being a Peer Mediator are rostered on for regular duty. They have a badge and clipboards to help them stand out in the yard. Peer Mediators also take a proactive role in keeping the yard positive. They do this by helping students to play games, wandering around and talking to students or just talk to the younger students so they become known in the yard.
Feedback from the Mediators has been very positive. They enjoy the experience and feel a sense of pride when we discussed how they were going.
While not all students are in the yard as Mediators, even though they have been trained, they are able to use the skills gained to solve their own, or friends, issues that may arise.
What does the future hold for Peer mediation?
The Mediators meet to discuss how they are progressing, how well the mediation program work and any changes that need to be made to make it better and where to from here?
Research is undertaken on problem areas in the school, how we can improve the needs of the students in these areas and are there any common issues arising.