"Calmer playtimes and improved behaviour"
Hay-on-Wye Primary, Winners of Young Mediator Category, National Mediation Awards November 2018
Watch Hay-on-Wye Primary mediation video at:
What is 'Kids Mediate'?
It's children finding the solutions to their own problems. A strategy that empowers our children to resolve their own low level disputes without resorting to asking someone more powerful (their teacher) to resolve it for them. It can help keep those low level disputes from escalating into bullying. At Wye Valley Mediation we use the finnish KIVA definition of bullying. Bullying is repeated, intentional harm caused to another where there is an imbalance of power.
We teach the children a simple 5 step process to use when co-mediating for their Peers. The children use the same process as that used in family mediation: a confidential, structured process in which they act as a neutral facilitator to help children who want to be helped, resolve their differences.
The children who have received the 2 day training in mediation are drawn from Years 5 and 6 and are responsible for providing the service for the whole school. The provision of a service requires organisation, team work and commitment.
'Kids Mediate' operates in primary and secondary schools. Adults train the mediators and help provide support and structure to the service, but it is the children themselves who resolve their problems.
The benefit of having this service in your school is as much for the child mediators; both learn how to talk to each other peacefully by abiding by certain rules;
● To speak one at a time
● Speak with respect
● Not to blame
It also helps them to problem solve and take responsibility for 'self'. Calmer playtimes, less reliance on staff to resolve issues and reduced bullying,
Through the experience of being a mediator children learn the benefits of withholding judgment and allowing others to express their narrative. Children gain emotional literacy through the experience of asking other children to acknowledge how someone else might be feeling. All children benefit from practising listening and the healing quality of truly being heard.
Kids Mediate and Restorative Justice
Peer mediation is one strategy used to ensure a restorative approach in schools.
A report published by the Department for Education gave whole-school restorative approaches the highest rating of effectiveness at preventing bullying, with a survey of schools showing 97% rated restorative approaches as effective. An independent evaluation of restorative justice in Bristol schools found that restorative justice improved school attendance and reduced exclusion rates.
In Barnet, an evaluation by the local authority found a reduction in exclusions of 51% in restorative justice trained schools compared to a 65% increase in exclusions in the thirty two Barnet schools that have received no restorative justice training. They also found increased confidence among school staff to deal with bullying and conflicts in the school.
Further reading about restorative practice in schools:
Bringing Peer Mediation Into Your School
Claire Jackson and Catriona Emmett trained with Healthy Minds http://www.healthymindslondon.co.uk/ as Peer Mediation Co-Ordinators. We have been working with Hay-on-Wye, Clifford, Peterchurch, Wellington, Staunton-on-Wye, and Madley primary schools along with Fairfield Seconday and Barrs Court. This work has been funded by The Big Lottery Fund, Tescos Bags of Help (Groundwork and the Co Op Bank.
Training your Teachers
In order to ensure sustainability for our work, we offer training for teachers in 'Kids Mediate'. This is a two day course and costs £195 including all materials that you will need to run the course for the children, along with delicious refreshments.
If our work has been funded by a grant, the school automatically receives a place on this course. Our next date for running Train the Trainers will be in September 2019, please contact us for final dates.
Training your Children
Alternatively we are able to attend your school with 2 trainers (Claire and Cat) and deliver the training to your school. The cost is £1100 for Primary Schools and £1,600 for Secondary Schools, this covers:
a meeting with your Staff to explain the concept of mediation and explore the issues that the school have identified,
a whole school assembly with the children,
2 days training for 16 children,
post training meeting with the children to assist them with delivering their own assembly,
a place on our 'Train the Trainers' Course for a member of your staff.
2 further visits during the year: sustainability is key.