Information on PeaceBuilders Anti-Bullying Network

Return PeaceBuilders - a case study

PeaceBuilders is a long-term, community-based, violence reduction/crime prevention programme for primary schools developed in the USA and Australia. Dr Gayre Christie, who worked with the Anti-Bullying Network as a visiting scholar in 2000, has led the development of the programme in Australian schools. The programme is designed to help create an environment that reduces violence and establishes more peaceful ways of behaving, living and working. It incorporates many of the elements of a praise and reward scheme and is intended to affect all aspects of the ethos of a school. The Anti-Bullying Network is supporting a trial of this programme at Craigentinny Primary School in Edinburgh. The school's Depute Head Teacher, Moira Heatly, describes the work:


PeaceBuilders at Craigentinny

"At Craigentinny Primary School our aim is to ensure that every child feels happy and safe and we take pride in the supportive ethos within the school . We work in many ways to enhance each individual's self esteem and promote positive behaviour throughout the school. Our school is a medium-sized city school which serves a catchment which is diverse in its socio-economic spread. We have a very large nursery and two special classes for children with language and communication disorders of an autistic nature."


Why we got involved

"Last session we consulted Andrew Mellor from the Anti-Bullying Network at Edinburgh University, about our anti-bullying guidelines for children and adults. It was through Andrew that the link with PeaceBuilders was established and we were asked to pilot the material in Scotland. As a staff, we use many strategies to promote positive ethos and behaviour within the school and felt that this programme offered the skeleton of explicit values onto which all the other strategies could be hung. It would compliment the other work that was already in place."


Research issues

"The responsibility for coordinating the evaluation of the project was taken on by the Anti-Bullying Network. Before the project started, a questionnaire survey was carried out and information gathered in order to establish a baseline. The results of this survey will be compared with other data collected as the project progresses with the aim of measuring any changes which result. Throughout the project the procedures will be regularly reviewed by staff and children and amended as necessary."


Main principles

"The programme aims to increase cooperation, achievement and individual success through a programme which promotes peaceful behaviour. It aims to reduce verbal and physical aggression in and beyond the school setting and it seeks to give children the skills to become resilient and to make wise choices throughout their lives.


5 Key Messages

5 carefully worded behavioural guidelines are at the heart of PeaceBuilders:

  • Praise People
  • Give up put downs
  • Seek wise people
  • Notice hurts
  • Right wrongs

Some Features of the Programme

"Through a process of training and review we regularly monitor and adapt the way in which the programme is developing within the school."

"As a staff we feel that this programme brings together, within a common language, all the other strategies we use to build a positive ethos and discipline within the school. The language of PeaceBuilders gives a common understanding of what is expected of the children. We have established not only the language but a set of school wide strategies to motivate, build self-esteem and uphold the main messages of PeaceBuilders."

"All staff have individualised praise notes which they distribute to children who are PeaceBuilders. These are displayed and taken home to parents."

"The children have expectations about the way we treat each other and the way we want to be treated."

"The Craigie Crew have been established to support positive play and isolated children in the playground."

"A school-wide, class and individualised reward system has been established."

"We are developing systems to inform and involve parents and the local community."

"There is a programme of events to celebrate successes and achievements."


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This information sheet may be photocopied or reproduced for use within schools and other educational establishments providing the Anti-Bullying Network is credited.