Twenty six schools across South Australia have been trialling a new approach to tackling bullying in primary schools.
The PEACE Pack is founded on the principles of Preparation (P), Education (E), Action (A), Coping (C) and Evaluation (E).
The new primary school version of the PEACE Pack, developed by Flinders University and supported by the Breakthrough Mental Health Foundation, complements the secondary school resource that has successfully reduced bullying in high schools for more than a decade.
The pilot, which wraps up at the end of Term 3, is giving teachers and leaders the opportunity to apply this new approach and plan lessons that teach students skills in dealing with all types of bullying, including cyber bullying.
Lessons focus on conflict resolution, relationship-building and decision-making among bullying perpetrators and bystanders, as well as building the coping skills of students who may experience bullying.
The program offers intensive professional development for teachers, student wellbeing leaders and parents, as well as a comprehensive anti-bullying curriculum for students.
The PEACE Pack approach helps children to stop bullying by teaching them to recognise when bullying is taking place, and to improve their skills in managing relationships and conflict.
The program has been developed by Flinders University Professor Phillip Slee who, along with colleague Grace Skrzypiec, has been working with pilot schools to see the impact of these resources and hear from teachers about what works in the classroom.
To date, 36 schools have utilised the PEACE Pack and the program has been translated and used by 300 schools in Greece, 11 schools in Malta and three schools in Japan. The pack will soon be translated and implemented in more than 22 classes in Italy.
The outcomes of the South Australian pilot will be evaluated, informing the development of a broad anti-bullying strategy and new resources that will be made available to all schools for the 2019 school year.