Jersey’s Bailiff has taken the opportunity to observe the delivery of peer mediation training for years five and six at Mont Nicolle School.
The programme is delivered by The Resolution Centre and made possible by the generous sponsorship of Viberts.
Over the past 3 years, the programme has extended to 11 primary schools and 2 secondary schools and is a core foundation to The Resolution Centre’s purpose of inspiring greater harmony in society.
The ethos behind the Peer Mediation for Schools Programme is to help children and young people learn how to engage positively with conflict. Peer mediation empowers children and young people to create positive changes in the lives of their peers. It can have incredible ripple effects in their lives, in their communities, and in our society, as a whole and helps children develop vital life and social skills that make communication with people around them, including family and friends, better and healthier.
During the two-day Peer Mediation Programme’s training, students will learn about the rules of a mediation, the four stages of a mediation, and develop and practice the skills needed to become an effective mediator.
In May 2023, the Bailiff was invited to present certificates at our graduation ceremony to a group of adults who had completed our accredited (CIArb) Peer Mediation course, which is delivered in partnership with Queen Margaret’s University. Included in this graduation ceremony were children from participating primary schools, who had recently been putting peer mediation into practice in their schools and who sought to provide advice to the adults graduating.
Having the chance to engage with the children who had already completed the programme, our Bailiff was keen to see our tutors and children in action.
The Bailiff, Timothy Le Cocq explained: “Mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution play a central role, in the solving of disputes and disagreements. This schools programme will help the pupils’ peers feel better, which will in turn, help them to do better at school.
“It is common in court to deal with contentious work, and I have rarely come across a civil dispute that could not have been dealt with in a less stressful and less costly way had it been submitted to mediation as opposed to being heard in a courtroom”.
Richard Stevens, CEO of The Resolution Centre, said: “Our School Peer Mediation Programme offers children an insight into the power and value of effective mediation. It is hoped that the children who attended today’s sessions will take their newly learned skills into their secondary schools, further education, workplaces, and society as they move into adulthood. This is an investment in the future as we hope, by training Jersey’s young people in the art of mediation, we will see the performance and harmony of Jersey’s businesses grow and thrive in the future.”
Mont Nicolle School’s Headteacher, Lisa Paul, added: “We were delighted to welcome The Resolution Centre’s tutors to deliver the Peer Mediation Programme to our year five and six students today. We really look forward to seeing them applying their newly learnt skills in the classroom and playground, too. Being able to resolve conflict healthily is such a fantastic skill to have and we hope this will help our children grow into well rounded, thoughtful and empathetic adults of the future.”
One of the pupils who has been doing peer mediation in their school shared their feedback and experience of the programme, by saying: “I wanted to become a peer mediator, because in the past when I have been in conflicts with my friends, I haven’t known how to resolve it. Now I have learnt the process of mediation, I would like the opportunity to help other children. I want the chance to be a good role model and to help everyone to follow our school rules. which are to be respectful, to be responsible, and to be safe.”