Cool Schools is a peer mediation programme developed by the Foundation for Peace Studies that has been adopted by many schools in New Zealand.Its philosophy is based on conflict being seen as something that can be handled positively and learnt from, without using violence.
It encourages us to learn about situations of conflict, and how to change them from experiences many of us would rather avoid or ignore into experiences to help us grow and learn. It helps us develop problem-solving approaches to conflict rather than denial or aggression.
Cool Schools is part of our school’s health syllabus, and is taught in classrooms each year. To supplement and reinforce the learning which occurs in the classroom, each year a team of children are trained in conflict resolution skills and are appointed as peer mediators within the school. Mediators are on duty in pairs in the playground every lunchtime, and are available for children to approach to help them resolve any conflicts they have been unable to sort out for themselves.
Mediators meet regularly with the coordinator for ongoing feedback and training.