St Aidan’s the only primary in world with a ‘peace room’
Thursday, 19 February 2009
St. Aidan’s Christian Brothers Primary is thought to be the only school in the world with a dedicated ‘Peace Room’.
The school is one of five in Northern Ireland to have official Peaceful Schools International (PSI) status. Ten of its pupils act as peace ambassadors.
PSI is a worldwide network with 280 member schools including members in Canada, America, Jamaica and Serbia.
Barnardo’s had taken the lead in introducing the scheme to Northern Ireland. It encourages schools to teach their students the attitudes, knowledge and skills that will help them to live well together.
It is founded on the belief that any school can create a culture of peace with a collective vision, a plan of action and commitment on the part of the entire school community.
PSI was founded 10 years ago by Canadian Hetty van Gurp after her son died following an attack by a boy who had been bullying him.
This week, students and lecturer Bridget Brownlow from St Mary’s University in Nova Scotia in Canada visited St Aidan’s as part of their conflict resolution studies.
Bridget said: “Our relationship with Belfast began at the time of the Holy Cross protest in 2001.
“We want this to continue and develop and are pleased that other schools in Northern Ireland are considering joining Peaceful Schools too.”