THE COOL SCHOOLS PEER MEDIATION PROGRAMME
The Cool Schools Peer Mediation Programme teaches students and teachers how to use conflict scenarios as an opportunity to build positive relationships with others. Non-violent, constructive, co-operative, WIN/WIN solutions to a problem are negotiated. Agreements are made which are mutually acceptable to all parties concerned. When implemented as a whole school programme, it has a positive impact not only on students, teachers and parents but also for the wider school community.
The programme was written in 1991 by the Peace Foundation and due to its success, has been introduced to over two-thirds of all schools in New Zealand. There is growing interest and demand for the programme both nationally and internationally. The programme has already been introduced to schools in Australia, Fiji and Pakistan.
Schools successfully implementing the programme report that 80-85% of minor disputes are settled permanently by peer mediators helping to make the school environment (both playground and classroom) a happier, safer, more peaceful place to be. Students are providing a service for other students as “peace-keepers”. They are modelling skills and processes, which will last a lifetime and are readily transferable to the home, workplace, community and beyond.
Paraparaumu School has just completed its full training and began implementing the programme in 2008.
Cool Schools Programmes:
- Helps individuals develop life long conflict management skills.
- focusses on building positive relationships with others.
- Creates win/win situations for students, teachers, parents, caregivers and the wider community.
- Provides life skills for school, home and the workplace.
- Empowers students to help other students
- Is proactive, helping to prevent bullying and other levels of conflict.
- Provides a better learning environment.
- Fosters the development of self esteem and leadership skills.
- Enhances inter-personal and intra-personal communication skills.
The Cool Schools Programmes develop key skills such as:
- Using “I” statements and affirmations.
- Recognising different types of responses to conflict.
- Effective questioning.
- The role of the mediator.
- The mediation process (including a process of junior students).
- Cool Schools
Our children enjoy a very positive behaviour development programme which is consistent, rewarding and fully supported by our parent community. It is based around the principles of restorative practice. Students are trained in the Peace Foundations “Cool Schools” peer mediation programme and we have senior peer mediators in the playground.