POSITIVE PLAYTIMES AT SMTV
We believe in having positive playtimes at St Mary’s.
Our positive playtimes link to these three articles from the UNCRC:
- Article 15 – Children have the right to choose your own friends and join or set up groups, as long as it isn’t harmful to others.
- Article 19 – Children have the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, in body or mind.
- Article 31 – Children have the right to play and rest.
In class, the children explore a range of aspects of positive playtimes, including learning new games and developing their mediation skills. Work also covers developing skills in understanding what bullying behaviour is and what is not bullying behaviour, as well as considering the different aspects and genres of bullying such as verbal, physical, social and cyber. The children think about positive behaviours both in and out of the classrooms with a linked focus to the Unicef’s Convention of the Rights of the Child.
Play leaders were originally set up as part of the Gillingham Family in the School Sports Partnership (SSP) with advice and training from Gillingham School. This partnership now no longer runs but we continue to work closely with Gillingham School. Play leaders are currently chosen from children who volunteer from Year 5. Three times a week at lunchtimes they choose which equipment they want to get out and also help to supervise the activities. The mid-day supervisors also assist the play leaders and get the equipment out on days that the leaders are not on duty. A recent addition to the equipment has been outside bean bags and books for children to read and share. If you have any books that you wish to donate for this purpose please send them to school.
At our school, all children in Year 4 are trained to be Peer Mediators. The children work on a rota basis to help the children at lunchtimes. The children work in pairs to help other children solve their problems.
The Peer Mediators help the children in our school have the RIGHT to relax and play, and to join in a wide range of activities (Article 31). They help the children achieve this, by ensuring they have happy and relaxing playtimes.
What is Peer Mediation?
- Part of a whole school strategy for resolving conflict, led by the children with adult support
- Provides children with the skills and ability to facilitate problem solving between other children
- Supports work with SEAL and Rights Respecting Schools
The skills developed by the Peer Mediators
- Recognising two sides of any one conflict
- Valuing opinions and feelings of others
- Looking for solutions with a win/win outcome
- Finding out both sides of the story
How it operates…
- Children choose to go to the mediators if they have been involved in a dispute or argument
- The mediators work from a specific script which they work through to reach a solution
- The children work through the process without the need of an adult and hopefully resolve the problem
The process involves …
- Agreeing rules which need to be adhered to during the mediation
- An opportunity for both children to explain their side of the story
- Opportunity to say how they both feel
- Opportunity to consider each other’s feelings
- Opportunity to think of possible solutions
- Opportunity to reach a win/win solution
Each new academic year, the children starting school in Reception are paired with a child in year 5. Each week, the children meet together and complete different activities. Having a big buddy settles the children into school and it prepares them to mix outside with the whole school at break times. The 2 classes celebrate whole school events together and the year 5 children enjoy their Big Buddy role in the school.