PEER MEDIATORS: WELCOME TO OUR 2017 COHORT
The new year brought about new changes at Burlington Danes. As our previous Year 10 students graduated into Year 11, we welcomed a new cohort, and thus appointed a new group of Peer Mediators.
The main objective of our mediators is to serve as an impartial voice amongst their peers, and as a link between students and teachers.
We caught up with; Angela Bulley, Renalin Valeriano, Joy Alalade, and Blessing Alalade - four of our new recruits. We interviewed them in order to give you an insight into their roles and the responsibilities they have ahead of them.
So you were selected to be a Peer Mediator. How did you feel when you heard the news?
Angela: Satisfied, because Year 7 is the hardest transmission since Nursery – you get tall children looking down at you which can be scary, so it’s nice to be able to help them get through that phase.
Renalin: Really happy, because I wanted it
Joy: Excited because I get to be role model for the school
Blessing: Relieved! We had to wait a long time, and it’s nice to think we could help some of the young children through Key Stage 3.
What do you have to do as a Peer Mediator?
Angela: We had training for two days.
Renalin: We learnt how to deal with problems without putting pressure on the kids.
Joy: To be able to communicate without using slang
Blessing: How to handle situations correctly so it’s fair for everyone
Why do you think you were selected?
Angela: We’re good children, and also it helps to overcome personal issues of ourselves.
Renalin: The teachers thought we’d be good as role models
Blessing: We were recommended by some teachers
This isn’t an easy role. How do you feel about having so much responsibility?
Angela: It’s all a team effort, which makes it easier.
Renalin: Sort of tense, because there’s a likelihood of us having to deal with a difficult situation.
Blessing: It’s a bit of pressure but I think we can get through it.
What would you do if you felt you couldn’t resolve a matter that required you to step-in?
Angela: I would tell a teacher and then the teacher would discuss the matter with other mediators without mentioning names of any party involved, and then we’d form a decision based on the discussion.
Renalin: I’d try and get them into a session alone and give them advice without imposing on them.
Joy: I’d ask them if they wanted to resolve the issues themselves or with my help. People like to feel like they have a choice.
Blessing: I’d ask them if they wanted to be friends, and if not, to go their separate ways instead of getting into a conflict.
Why do you think Burlington Danes created this role for students, as opposed to having members of staff intervene?
Angela: We’re younger and we would understand more about difficult situations among our age group. And we can sometimes give better advice than a teacher I feel, because we don’t have that authority that teachers have.
Renalin: Teachers may just pressure them into being friends – we’d just let them be themselves and give them advise which hopefully won’t pressure them as much.
Joy: Students will probably feel more comfortable talking to other students rather than adults because we’ve experience things like this in this day and age. Things are different now from what it was like for adults.
Blessing: As we’re students we can relate to them more age-wise, we can tell them our experiences that they could relate better to.
You’re obviously quite responsible students to have been selected for this role. If given a chance, what would you change or add to it?
Angela: Visiting other schools to see how they function and/or helping to mediate. Also I think this is something that should be nationally recognised.
Renalin: More scheduled meetings and a dedicated space or room to meet in. It would also be good if we could go on trips to primary schools to give the year 6 students advice on what to look forward to in secondary school.
Joy: Maybe a different colour tie. Gold - to show we’re golden students! And also to have our own dedicated teacher/mentor that we can go to for advice.
Blessing: Rewards trips for our hard work!
Thank you for your time girls.
And congratulations to the following students who were also selected to represent the academy as Peer Mediators:
Danyaal Ellis Khan