S.A.L.T and PEER MEDIATION
Conflict is part of life and, in this regard, DPETNS is no different from other schools. Children will have rows and arguments and sometimes they find these conflicts very upsetting. We believe that every child needs to learn conflict resolution skills and we teach the SALT programme in Senior Infants and First Class. SALT teaches the children to view conflict as a learning opportunity and discreetly teaches them the importance of being able to negotiate. The children are taught the importance of using SALT (Stop, Ask, Listen, Talk) when they find themselves in a situation of conflict. We encourage the children to solve conflicts for themselves and we work to develop their skills in negotiating conflict. Throughout the school the children are encouraged to use the four steps of the SALT programme. Naturally there are times when a situation requires adult intervention and the children are encouraged to talk to their teachers if something is bothering them. To support our conflict resolution programme, the children in Sixth Class each year are trained to be Peer Mediators. The Peer Mediation programme is highly valued by our students as it enhances the voice of children in the school. When an issue of conflict arises, two Sixth Class mediators sit with two younger children to sort out the row or argument without adults getting involved. It can be very effective in encouraging children to listen to each other and to reflect on how their behaviour may be impacting on another person. The Peer Mediation programme has been running now for six years. It teaches the children conflict resolution skills that we hope will serve them well throughout their lives.