The BRIDGE BUILDERS® program used at Manly West State School provides understanding, skills and a common language that teaches resilience and constructive, positive approaches to respond to conflict or bullying. It is a whole-school community program that equips all adults to empower children with strategies to use in situations where conflict or bullying cause disconnection.
Primary schools provide an ideal age for children to be taught conflict resolution skills. Their cognitive processing and understanding of social and emotional learning are in their early developmental phase and habits are not yet strongly formed.
Research overwhelmingly supports the link between Social Emotional Learning, student outcomes and school performance. This program incorporates all SEL components which promote student engagement, positive behaviour, cooperation with others, problem solving abilities and health and wellbeing. Manly West State School is empowering students and their community with the explicit learning and reinforcing of these skills through:
- Face to face workshops for students with Jocelyne Chirnside, the creator of the program and director of EMPOWERING Life Skills,
- BRIDGE BUILDERS® Early Years and Primary Online Programs; that are accessible for teachers to teach in class and for students and parents to access at home - creating a common language and consistent approach between school and home,
- Visible signage in classrooms and playgrounds to remind students of key strategies to help them
- Training of older students to be BRIDGE BUILDERS® Mediators and BUDDIES to coach, encourage and support younger students in the playground.
- Adult workshops and meetings for staff and parents.
Learning how to build and maintain healthy relationships is a skill that empowers our children for life.
Parent and Student Speaking