There is probably no school in the country which does not have aims or policies designed to promote respectful and harmonious relationships amongst pupils. Yet, how many times a week do similar dialogues, accompanied by all manner of put-downs, pokings, pushings and pullings ring out in our playgrounds? How many times do adults move in to ‘sort it out’, to request, to cajole, beg or command pupils to resolve their problems cooperatively? Nevertheless, simply telling children not to argue or fight does not necessarily make an impact. Unless we provide children with alternative ways of managing their own disputes constructively and teach them the necessary skills, they are likely to continue in well-learnt patterns of fight or flight.