Friday, July 1st, 2022

Restorative mediation can help resolve conflicts at primary schools in the Sevenoaks area

West Kent Mediation consists of a team of skilled negotiators who are based in Sevenoaks. You can call on them to help settle disputes for free without having to go to court. Here, in another of a series of regular articles, West Kent Mediation explains how they can help train schoolchildren in Peer Mediation

ARE you finding that valuable teaching time is engaged with sorting out low level disputes? Is your school looking for a process to help with this conflict?

Conflict is something we all face. It is there in our friendships, families, neighbourhood, work life and school. West Kent Mediation (WKM) is a charity which offers an impartial mediation service to support you in resolving many kinds of conflicts. Part of their work is training children in Peer Mediation.

The training involves working with Year five or six. Dorothy Walkington, WKM’s Schools Co-ordinator leads a discussion about mediation, what skills are needed and how mediation works. The children brainstorm conflicts and share how they are resolved.

Children work through role plays involving listening skills and body language. Co-operative games are played to help children find solutions to problems. The morning ends an imaginary mediation between two children who have had a dispute.

Twelve volunteers are then chosen for a day’s training to become mediators. The children look at feelings and how they affect them, practice communication skills, play team games and discuss ‘red flag’ areas. During the afternoon they practice mediation skills using imaginary disputes. Focus is on listening to other’s views, being impartial and finding a ‘win-win’ solution to the conflict.

Important life skills are developed in a fun and relaxed setting which have a very positive impact on the day to day running of a primary school and we can think of no better investment in the future than to help the next generation deal with conflict in a better and more constructive way.

For more information contact West Kent Mediation Schools Co-ordinator Dorothy Walkington on: dorothy@wkm.org.uk

For more information on West Kent Mediation go to: www.wkm.org.uk

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