Waggrakin Primary School pupils buzz around playground initiative

There is something growing in the classrooms and playground of Waggrakine Primary School that thrills students and teachers alike.

Thirty grade 6 students are being trained to become BUZ guards as part of an initiative to create a safer playground environment and reduce incidents of bullying.

The Peer Leadership and Mediation program will provide students with the skills to become leaders both on the playground and in the classroom.

Waggrakine teacher Paul Bonavia said the school is looking to provide students with a more meaningful leadership program.

“Essentially their role will be to go out during breaks and support students who may be excluded from activities, to include them in things and to help resolve minor conflicts on the playground,” he said. he declares.

Mr. Bonavia said the program would not be limited to just faction captains and student representatives.

“We included 17 additional students who may not have been elected but who still display these really strong leadership qualities,” he said.

“We’re excited about the initiative because I think it really gives them the opportunity to take ownership of their role.”

The program is run by Nurture Works, an organization “passionate about empowering children with the life skills they need to deal with life’s adversities”.

Their Build Up Zone (BUZ) initiatives aim to “empower children to develop life skills” by addressing issues such as conflict resolution, protective behaviors and protection from bullying.

Graduate teacher Clayton Bruce-Cherry suggested the idea, having been involved with BUZ at his previous school in Perth.

“It’s really good for involving students in more leadership positions and taking responsibility for behaviors in the playground, as well as teaching them skills for when they leave school,” he said. .

Mr Bruce-Cherry said the students responded positively to the program and it had a clear impact on their behavior.

“I’m already starting to see kids taking a more thoughtful approach to their actions,” he said.

“As these kinds of things happen in the playground, it’s really important to give kids those conflict resolution and resilience skills.”

For the students themselves, they are just thrilled to get involved and make a difference.

“I think it will really help the break times to solve the fights and the problems on the oval,” said a sixth-grader.

A classmate agreed, adding: ‘If two things happen then the teachers don’t need to be there right now, we kids can be there too.’

Harold B. McConnell