Programmes for Schools

Primary Schools (Years 1 – 8)

The Cool Schools Peer Mediation Programme is a whole school programme that teaches essential life skills for peaceful conflict resolution.

Cool Schools is a student-centred programme focused on providing students with skills to support their peers to resolve conflicts in a constructive way. They empower students to assist in the management of peer behaviour at school, creating a school culture where students can recognise anti-social behaviour, understand the impact of it, and have the skills to respond. The programme teaches relationship building skills, including reasoning, social skills and conflict resolution. They offer learning experiences that support students to develop an increased range of prosocial strategies and behaviours including helping, caring, empathy and social problem‐solving behaviours.

The programme also provides students with pathways to develop their agency to lead and to do good in the school community. Students trained as peer mediators, can step up as leaders and role models. They can become “Ambassadors of Social Justice” or “Peace Ambassadors”, modelling and promoting the importance of kindness, fairness, empathy and respect for all.

Research on Cool Schools notes that schools value the programme’s reputation, the reduction in the number of conflicts, and the increase in students’ understanding on behaviours that are not acceptable.

The Benefits of Cool Schools

  • develop a whole school-wide approach to dealing with conflict,
  • develop a whole school-wide approach to dealing with conflict,
  • provide opportunities for students to demonstrate and apply positive behaviours,
  • reduce negative behaviours such as aggression, bullying or violence,
  • build student resilience, and
  • empower students to co-create a friendly, respectful, and safe school climate.

The New Zealand Curriculum states

(Ministry of Education, 2007)

“For students to lead full and satisfying lives, they need to be supported to: build resilience, a positive identity and empathy; learn how to co-operate and negotiate; and develop competencies for mental wellness and safety management.”

(W@S research brief: March 2012)

What Is Peer Mediation

A structured process that uses a neutral person, the mediator, to help those in conflict to come up with their own solutions for a win/win outcome. Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process to constructively manage conflict.


The benefits of peer mediation

  • Uses students to act as third party between peers in conflict (disputants).
  • Creates opportunities for disputants to do their own problem solving.
  • Encourages empathetic listening.
  • Uses effective questioning techniques to assist disputants to come to their own win/win solutions.
  • Gets to the core of the problem quickly.
  • Empowers students without teacher intervention.

As a Cool School we observed that the whole culture changed. Children were using the language of conflict resolution in and outside the classroom. Families contacted us to say that their children were using the conflict resolution skills at home. Peer mediators felt empowered and demonstrated their leadership skills by running peace events and thinking of ways to make the school a more peaceful place.

Programme Coordinator

Upper Harbour Primary School


The Peace Foundation provides funding to support the staff training, revisit and key implementation resources.

To find out more information or/and to book a funded training please email: or phone: (09) 373 2379

Secondary Schools

Leadership through Peer Mediation

A conflict resolution programme for secondary school students which empowers them to facilitate a peer mediation service by students trained as mediators.


Leadership Through Peer Mediation

Secondary Schools (Years 9 – 13)

A conflict resolution programme for secondary school students, empowering them to facilitate a peer mediation service by students trained as mediators.

Leadership through Peer Mediation (LtPM) is a conflict resolution programme for secondary school students which empowers them to facilitate a peer mediation service by students trained as mediators.

Peer mediators support their peers in conflict to reach peaceful agreements without teacher intervention. Students are enabled to become ‘ambassadors of social justice’ or ‘peace ambassadors’, student leaders in the school community promoting fairness and respect for all students, watching out for harassment and bullying and helping students to get the support they may need.

LtPM and the NZ Curriculum

LtPM gives students an opportunity to realize the New Zealand Curriculum’s vision of creating “confident, connected, actively involved life long learners”. The programme is congruent and reinforcing of all the values and key competencies, especially ‘relating to others, managing self and participating and contributing. It supports the New Zealand Curriculum’s emphais on students having agency over their learning and the development of positive, collaborative relationships between teacher/student and student/teacher.

LtPM helps schools to prevent and deal with bullying by empowering students with skills to be ‘the agents of change’.

Programme Objectives


To raise awareness of conflict and conflict responses.


To build student resilience and empower students to co-create a friendly, respectful, and safe school climate.


To teach life long conflict management skills.


To empower individuals in making positive choices for building successful relationships.


To reduce behaviours such as aggression, bullying or violence.


To develop empathy so that individuals listen to each other with understanding.


To develop leadership in giving service to others through peer mediation.


To grow respectful, global citizens who value diversity and human rights.

Being a peer mediator has boosted my confidence and has given me comfort that there are students who are willing to help stop bullying at school.


The Peace Foundation’s secondary school training contributes significantly to student wellbeing. It has been incredibly rewarding to see students thrive, grow in confidence and feel their own dignity is enhanced. The programme is empowering for students as well as teaching them life-long skills to resolve conflict in a peaceful, respectful way.


As a mediator I feel like I am part of a huge family who look after each other and support others in the school.