A Whole School Approach

through the development of relationships and peacemaking behaviours in everyone, the school has a peaceful ethos.


The Peacemakers ‘Whole School Approach’ project helps the people in schools to build a more peaceful and healthy teaching and learning community. It is a culture change programme aimed at developing the ethos, skills and processes to build, maintain and repair relationships at all levels. It includes a wide variety of training for both adults and children in the school alongside the development of the seen and unseen systems that make up a school’s culture.

The Peacemakers Whole School Approach (WSA) is bespoke programme of peacebuilding activities that enhance relationships within a school. These activities could include:

  • the development of conflict resolution skills
  • a peer mediation service established
  • a restorative script/language
  • the development of emotional vocabulary and intelligence
  • the development of circle time across the school
  • working with challenging behaviour
  • the development of a shared language around conflict

How we work with schools

Peacemakers takes a whole school approach with the aim of putting the development of relationships at the centre of school life: the ethos, the culture, routines and management. By focusing on relationships first, we then develop skills within the people in the school to grow and promote social and emotional learning, resilience, communication and problem solving skills. This is a bespoke offer to each school we partner. The training and development of systems is flexible to suit the needs of the school.

Watch our short animation about how the Whole School Approach Project works.

What you need to know

  • This project is long-term. It usually lasts about 18 months (4 terms).
  • A member of the Peacemakers team spends the equivalent of a day a week delivering work in school, coaching staff and reviewing systems.
  • Peacemakers can only work with a limited number of schools at any one time. Please call us to find out about the criteria and timescales.
  • The cost of this enhanced programme is around £10,000. Many of our WSA have successfully sought funding to help with the cost. Peacemakers can assist you with this.

What is the WSA not?

  • It is not a standardised one-size-fits-all model. Each school we work with unique and the model we create to work with reflects this.
  • It is not a programme that is delivered *to* schools. Peacemakers works *with* schools to facilitate the changes possible.
  • It is not a one-off training day or series of days.

Who have we worked with?

The following Primary Schools have taken part in the Peacemakers Whole School Approach Project:

Rounds Green 2011/12          Kings Norton 2011/13          Fairway 2011/13                      

Holy Trinity 2012/14              Raddlebarn 2014/16             The Oaks 2014/16                      

Bells Farm 2015/16               Erdington Hall 2015/16        

What does it look like?

This image gives an indication of a pathway a typical school might take on the whole school approach journey.

Whole School Approach

This project will help schools to:

  • Make the school a healthier and happier place for everyone through the development of a restorative* ethos
  • Give children and adults the time and space to increase their emotional literacy
  • Be confident spending time together in a circle to carry out games, exercises and activities designed to explore SMSC and to build a sense of community
  • Set high expectations and create environments for high level thinking
  • Skill up all members of the school community (including lunchtime teams, support staff) in conflict resolution skills
  • Develop effective awareness and engagement activities including; information for parents, whole school creative projects and assemblies
  • Set up a ‘champion group’ to maintain and take forward this work in the school long-term
  • Be part of a regional restorative schools network.

The approach to conflict resolution is *restorative in nature – this means that both staff and children have new ways to resolve problems, repair harm and restore relationships when they break down. The main way we do this is when something goes wrong; we ask all people involved to come together, listen to the impact of the problem on all the parties and work together to come up with some solutions.

What do people say about the project?

There has been a very positive response from staff to the training and the approach. Already we are hearing the language linked to conflict resolution being used and circles are beginning to be used in a more proactive rather than reactive manner. It is not only teacher directly involved but the support staff are engaged also and want to learn more and support/run their own circle. Governors also received the session very positively and can see the benefits to our children. – Head Teacher

You’re changing people’s lives. You’re changing how people interact with one another. You’re changing how people feel about themselves.– Senior Leader

The incidents of escalating behaviour are so much less. Before, we constantly broke up fights in the playground. It’s not escalating to that point so much now because the expectation is that it is going to dealt with, and it is dealt with  Lunchtime Supervisor

Read a selection of impact stories.

Need more information?