John of Rolleston Primary School
Peace is on the curriculum at John of Rolleston primary School in Staffordshire. Headteacher: It is a really busy curriculum, but you have to decide what you want and our school is led by a very strong set of values ….all about developing our young people. Peace is essential so a happy safe environment is the foundational bedrock of our curriculum. It means that every child can come to school everyday and enjoy the learning that takes place so we have to find space for it.
– Richard Simcox, Head teacher
The school makes use a wide variety of sports, circle time and a peer mediation so that children learn to respond to conflict. Pupils are friendly, welcoming and get on with one another very well. They take their roles as health and safety monitors and peer mediators very seriously and carry out their duties in a quiet and mature manner.
Drawing on training from Peacemakers in Birmingham, Samantha Duda-Spencer, a teacher at John of Rolleston Primary School in Burton-on-Trent, uses regular circle time sessions to support her students to handle conflict well: “Initially I was really sceptical of it; I thought, No, this is not going to work with seven- and eight-year-olds, talking about peace! But actually, just within the space of a few weeks [of] regular circle times […] they were able to discuss what their conflict was, what their arguments were, and they had some strategies to be able to solve those. They are going to be our citizens of the future and they will need to know how to manage conflicts, how to work together, how to be resilient, how to support and listen, and actually, teaching them from an early age, really does do that.” Simcox says, “All children had the opportunity to learn peace building skills, to take part in a curriculum that was led by peace, we would have a more peaceful society. We wouldn’t necessarily have less conflict, but we would have better ways of addressing that conflict.”
Peer Mediation at Bacon’s College
Bacon’s College in Southwark College works closely with CALM Mediation to equip Sixth Form students with conflict resolution skills. A peer mediation scheme scheme has operated over a decade, thriving due to the support from professional mediators who provide training and regular supervision was available.
“I’ve learnt invaluable skill for life… Why doesn’t every school have peer mediation”
– Kezia Herzog, Sixth Form mediator
The inner city secondary academy is rated by OFSTED as ‘outstanding’ for ‘behaviour and safety of pupils’ and saw a significant reduction in school exclusions in recent years. The peer mediators, aged 16-19, have a high profile in the school and help other students address challenging issues including name-calling, bullying and fights. Some join adult mediators working in the community.
A former Peer mediator, Bode Adeloye, won Community Mediator of the year award in 2021, having first started mediating in school at the age of 16. Even when he was at school he joined our adult mediators working in the community which he still does now.
Other alumni have spoken in Parliament and national Mediation Conferences.