Quaker peace education gathers momentum
Quaker peace education is gathering momentum with the piloting of a three-day sustainable model for peer mediation training.
The January pilot event, held at Cardiff's Temple of Peace, was oversubscribed with teachers from 11 Welsh schools, including one secondary school and its feeder primary schools.
Thanks to a legacy from South Wales Quakers and in partnership with the Welsh Centre for International Affairs, teachers learnt how to establish peer mediation schemes.
They also learnt how to use Alternatives to Violence techniques to run social and emotional wellbeing activities for whole year groups.
In peer mediation, students act as neutral mediators to help their classmates resolve conflicts. This makes schools more peaceful, and pupils more confident with better communications skills.
Quakers work to end war and violence and this includes facilitating peace education across the country with Quaker peer mediation schemes recognized by national awards.
Teachers valued the inclusive, fun training, with one commenting: “The lesson plans are clear, interesting and full of great ideas; it's all there for you which cuts down on preparation time for staff."
Plans are in progress to expand the scheme, and Quakers in Bristol were also recently taught how to deliver the peer mediation training in local schools.
Isabel Cartright, peace education manager for Quakers in Britain, said: “We weren't sure if schools would release teachers for three days, but we quickly filled up and have a waiting list for another training in the summer – clearly showing schools feel there's a need."
'Train the trainer' events are to be held this spring in Stockport, Grimsby and London.
Watch a video about the event here: