Children in Year 6 have decided that we would like to be even more active than we already are when it comes to helping children feel safe and happy while they are at school. We know that most of the time, it’s great being at our school but from time to time everyone experiences problems. When this happens it can sometimes feel really bad especially if we don’t know how to handle it.
In our assemblies and in class we learn about our feelings and how to get on with other people. We want this to continue but as we’re the older children, and we’ve learnt some ways of getting on with others that we could share with younger children, we have set up a listening friends’ service.
Our listening friends’ Service takes place at different levels:
Level 1 – Playground Befrienders:
We keep our eye on the Buddy Bench. If we see anyone sitting there we will go and chat with them and help them to find someone to play with if that’s what they want.
Our playground befrienders are: Chloe, Sebastian, Thomas M, Nathan, Calen, Alex L, Christopher, Alex S, Andrew, Cory, Matthew, Kai, Ethan, Alarna, Holly, Thomas W, Theo, Beth, Jack, Alfie, Daniel, Jenna, Katie and Rachel.
Level 2 – Listening friends:
After we complete our listening friends training and pass the assessment, we’ll are able to help by being available to listen to anyone who wants to talk to us about a problem they may be having. We won’t try to solve the problem but we will ask questions that will help them think about how they might sort things out. We can only do this if we make and stick to the listening friends promise.
Each week, all of the children who have been on listening friends’ duty meet with an adult listening friend to ensure that we are being successful and to have further training if we need it.
Our listening friends are: Thomas W, Theo, Amelia, Isaac, Freya, Beth, Jack, Alfie, Daniel, Jenna, Katie and Rachel.
Level 3 – Peer mediation:
The listening friends who undertake peer mediation training are able to help other children to sit down and talk about it if they have had a disagreement or fallen out with each other. Again, we don’t try to solve the problem for them we just make sure they have a really calm opportunity to listen to each other and to understand how the other person feels. When we do this we use a restorative approach. This means we try to help them to restore their friendship rather than thinking about who is right and who is wrong. When this works we call it a win/win outcome as everyone is happy.
Level 4 – Anti-bullying champions:
A small group of us act as anti-bullying champions. We make sure that children in other classes know who we are and feel safe to come and talk to us if they are worried about being bullied. We have learnt a lot about what bullying is and can also what it isn’t so we try to help other children to understand this in assemblies. If we think someone is being bullied, we always make sure we tell an adult so that it can be sorted out.
Listening friends training
During our training we really learn how to actively listen.
We explore ideas about bullying.
It’s important for us to understand the difference between bullying and other unpleasant situations that we might find ourselves in.
Before we can listen to a problem we always share the listening friends promise as it’s important for the children who are talking to us to know that we will have to tell an adult if they are getting hurt.
We learn how to ask lots of open questions and how to check out for feelings.
After we’ve listened to a child’s problem we ask them to fill in a very short questionnaire and to put it in our listening friends box. We also remind them how important it is to talk to an adult if they still feel worried or upset.
If you would like to know any more about our listening friend service, please ask any of us to explain it to you or make an appointment to come into school to talk to Mrs Skilbeck, Mrs Dolan or Mrs Glisson about it. We’ll all be delighted to explain more.
The pictures below show some of our Year 6 children taking part in the listening friends training.