Peer Mediation Programme
The Peer Mediation Programme is a primary school-based training course offered to pupils in Year 5 and 6. The aim of the programme is to set up a mini mediation service within the school, where the pupils are trained to become peer mediators, acting as a neutral third party to help other children navigate and resolve minor school-based disagreements. The programme is overseen by a school ‘Champion’ who will support and guide the children as they develop their mediation skills.
This programme is an initiative of Wandsworth Mediation Service, a London charity with over two decades of expertise in dispute resolution. Our trainers, all mediation practitioners, teach young people to handle conflict in a non-violent manner using a variety of strategies. Becoming a peer mediator gives children vital communication skills that will benefit them both at home and at school. By equipping pupils with these skills to resolve these minor agreements, the knock-on effects can contribute to reducing fights and limiting bullying behaviours within school.
Objectives of the Peer Mediation Programme:
Peer mediation training content:
The sessions are delivered through a range of highly interactive activities, including role play and games, with very little writing. Style of delivery is adapted to preferences of the group. Each session concludes with a reviewing activity.
We would be delighted to tailor our training to your school’s particular requirements. Please get in touch to discuss this with us.
Outline of our Peer Mediation training programme:
1. Understanding what conflict means, how it starts and how it can escalate;
2. Promoting self-awareness in young people regarding:
- the way they handle conflict;
- the assumptions/prejudices they carry;
- their individual conflict ‘triggers’;
3. Practising identifying and expressing feelings;
- that there are always other points of view;
- the need to listen to other points of view;
- the tools to express their own point of view effectively (i.e. assertiveness: including body language, vocal tone and I-statements);
- what positions and interests are and why they are important;
- the layers that are under anger and conflict and the role of feelings in conflict;
5. Understanding the key principles of conflict resolution:
- focusing on the problem and not the person;
- future thinking;
- win/win solutions;
- facts versus interpretation;
- ‘flight or fight’ mode;
- active listening;
6. Considering some common blocks to communication and identifying own habits;
7. Introducing mediation:
- To promote self-awareness regarding personal conflict styles;
- To understand what mediation is and the purpose of mediation;
- To understand the key principles of mediation: that the focus is on the problem and not the people, and on the future not the past;
- To understand the layers that are under anger and conflict and the role of feelings in conflict.
Peer mediation training costs and timing:
The course is delivered through:
- two 3-hour sessions for pupils,
- one 3-hour briefing session for the staff Peer Mediation champion,
- one 2-hour training for school staff,
- 45-minute launch assembly for the whole school and any interested parents.
These can be adapted to fit the school’s timetable.
The cost is £3850 per school. This includes all initial meetings, 2 trainers peparing and delivering the programme for up to 20 pupils over 2 days, training of up to 40 staff members, launch assembly, all lesson plans and materials, and post-training support from WMS project manager. These costs can be covered by the school, or we can seek grant funding to cover them.
Our Commitment and Expectations
What you can expect from us:
- Introductory training for all school staff;
- Specific briefing session for the Peer Mediation Champion;
- Fast-track training of up to 20 children;
- Lesson plans for Year 3-6 year groups.
What we ask of you:
- Arrange dates for the training and assembly, ideally with a term’s advance notice;
- Designate a Peer Mediation Champion who will be responsible for overseeing the programme from the start;
- Engage in feedback questionnaires both before and after training to help assess the programme’s effectiveness;
- Supply a suitable room for the number of participants and ensure that the Peer Mediation Champion and preferably, an additional member of staff, are present during the training.
A minimum of 10 and a maximum of 20 students can enrol in each course, typically from Year 5 or 6. Participants are chosen based on an application process. Pupils keen to participate submit a form to their teachers, and the school then selects those they believe will benefit most from the programme.
Venue and equipment
We ask the school to provide a room with enough space for the young people to move around and a projector (with sound) for films and PowerPoint. A regular classroom can work, but we would move the tables and chairs aside to make it feel different from normal lessons.
All students who participate in the course receive a certificate from Wandsworth Mediation Service.
Sustainability & Ongoing Support
All staff, both teaching and support, will receive introductory training on the aims and practicalities of the programme. Once the Peer Mediation Programme has taken place, the school will receive lesson plans for each year group between Year 3 and 6. These are incorporated into PSHE lessons. The aim is that by Year 5 or Year 6, pupils will be well-equipped with conflict resolution skills and have a thorough understanding of how mediation works, preparing them to actively participate in the process whether or not they decide to train as a peer mediator.
In order for the programme to embed within the school, it is essential to have support from the school Peer Mediation Champion. This person would oversee the service, championing the peer mediators and supporting them after the meditation sessions. We will provide on-going support for this designated staff member, ensuring they are well-prepared for their role.
The programme works best if schools follow the lesson plans provided for each year group, and trains new groups of pupils in Years 5 or 6, on an ongoing basis. We can provide annual training, subject to successful funding.