BY TOBY PORTER
Pupils from a primary went to a ceremony put on by organisers of Princess Diana Award and enjoyed an afternoon of special performances at Barclays head office in Canary Wharf.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death and is a poignant year for youngsters to receive the Diana Award in her memory. More than 750 outstanding young people, from across the world were chosen and recognised as exceptional young people.
The Diana Award was set up in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, and her belief that young people have the power to change the world for the better. The award-winning children are Peer Mediators at Sunnyhill Primary School, Sunnyhill Road, Streatham and are an outstanding group of young people aged between 9 to 11 years old.
They dedicated their free time to improving the play times and lives of their peers through a pupil-led conflict resolution service and raising awareness of bullying through events and activities.
The number of pupils needing their services has reduced by half compared to the same period last year. Tessy Ojo, chief executive of the Diana Award met with the pupils to speak with them after the ceremony. She said: “We would like to congratulate all our new award holders. These awards come in a landmark year for the Diana Award as we join the world to mark the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana.
“At the Diana Award we understand that valuing young people also means investing in them so we are delighted that these award recipients will have access to our unique development programme that ensures they continue to be positive trailblazers for their generation.”
Jamarni Cararra Clarke in Year 6 at Sunnyhill got the chance to speak to dancer and host for the ceremony Wayne Sleep. Jamarni said: “At the awards, I felt happy for my team that we won an amazing award and Tessy Ojo’s speech was inspiring.”
Deputy head teacher at the school Dirk Blom said; “Our peer mediators are fantastic in helping to solve low-level conflict in the playground. They led on an extremely successful anti-bullying campaign to help children enjoy, celebrate and respect the ways we are all different, as well as the ways in which we are similar.
“Receiving the Diana award is a real testament to all the hard work our peer mediators have been doing to build positive relationships in school.
“The school would not be the place it is today without these dedicated, hardworking and conscientious young people and has been recognised. We are incredibly proud of them.”
Peer Mediation at Sunnyhill is now in its fourth year and pupils are preparing activity towards next week’s Anti Bullying week with the introduction of a kindness tree that will grow with kindness messages throughout the week. The Peer mediation team is made up of children from across Year 5 and 6.
Gemma Clark is the pupil voice co-ordinator at Sunnyhill. She said: “We aim to give our young people the skills to deal with conflict later on in life, to develop clear understanding and empathy with those around them.
“As a school, our core values of trying your best, respect for one another and that every individual matters are reflected in the training the peer mediators receive.
“They then take this into the playground during their shifts and back into their classroom.
“We are involving our pupil leaders in behaviour management decisions and consulting with them on any changes they think we could make to our reward systems.”
Anti-bullying Week 2017 is being held between the November 13 and 17 and is organised by Anti-Bullying Alliance.