Forfar Academy's latest group of peer mediators.
Forfar Academy's latest group of peer mediators.

Forfar Academy pupils have finished training as a vital part school’s support network for its younger pupils.

*The academy offers its sixth year pupils the opportunity to become peer mediators to give support to younger pupils who need help with aspects of school life.

After five or six weeks of training, the seniors formally receive this title enabling them to help younger pupils to deal with difficult issues within the school.

These could be a dispute with another pupil, a fall-out between friends or any issue that younger pupils would feel more comfortable speaking another pupil about instead of a teacher. The senior pupils are trained to be fair and unbiased and, with the younger pupils’ co-operation, it is their job to help them to find a resolution and keep a happy and friendly atmosphere in the school.

One of the pupils said: “Peer mediation is our opportunity to improve communication between people to ensure pupils’ enjoyment and comfort in their school.

“As well as the benefits it offers for the younger pupils’ school experience, it provides many benefits for the sixth years taking part. For example, it’s a very enjoyable way to boost confidence as a senior pupil, and gives us valuable experience in dealing with people and issues in the adult world, with maturity and empathy.

The group’s leaders teachers Mr Preston and Jean Forsyth, who have been running it for more than three years are also enthusiastic about the pupils supportive role

Mrs Preston said: “Younger pupils can receive help and support but not from a teacher. This is non-threatening and important. We definitely need publicity if peer mediation is going to be the success it can be.

“All pupils are encouraged to take advantage of it and this group has so far been a successful movement to maintain safety and a good school ethos.”