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Conflict resolution

The skills of conflict resolution are very useful as pupils negotiate the complex social situations they face in secondary schools. This might lead some pupils to frequently fall out with peers and/or adults, which in turn may result in aggressive or ‘over the top’ behaviour, or emotional upset which significantly reduces a pupil’s capacity to access learning opportunities.

Pupils may benefit from this small focus group work topic if conflicts with peers or adults, within or outside the school context, are inhibiting their learning or school experience. Barriers to effective conflict resolution might include difficulties managing anger or frustration, a tendency to jump to conclusions and react without considering the consequences for themselves or others or finding it hard to understand situations from other people’s points of view.

Practitioners will want to carefully consider the make-up of groups who have additional needs in this area, and will want to ensure that pupils with well-developed emotional management and conflict resolution skills form part of the learning group (potentially those who have undertaken previous group work).

This topic is designed to help young people to:

  • understand how conflict can occur
  • consider ways of finding solutions
  • use a peaceful problem-solving process
  • develop communication and negotiation skills.