I joined parents at Auchinraith Primary this morning for a presentation about the peer mediation that the Primary 6 pupils are involved with. If you have passed the playground of Auchinraith when the kids are out and about you may have noticed some of the children wearing bright yellow caps. Along with the badge (above) these mark out those pupils who have undergone training in mediation over a two day period. We heard from the trainers this morning and from some of the pupils and staff on how this mediation is working in the school.
It was very impressive and an initiative that I would think there was much scope to see expanded across other schools, both primary and secondary.
As we have seen over the last two weeks with the ghastly violence in the Middle East, we live in a world in which so many seem to use fear, bullying and violence as the first response to disagreements or to grievance. How great it would be if everyone had some understanding of the processes of mediation of disagreements and the encouragement to put yourselves in another's shoes in a disagreement.
Within the playground this is the challenging role that the P6 mediators have take on to mediate between disagreements, not seeking an answer, but encouraging the different parties in a conflict to talk it through, listening to other viewpoints and thereby opening the door to reconciliation - and all this taking place at peer level. Fantastic stuff.
The children were trained to know when a teacher needs to get involved, and seemed to really enjoy the responsibility they had been given. This all comes as part of the work Auchinraith is involved in as a Rights Respecting School. Please do keep this work in your prayers.