So what is Restorative Practice I hear you ask?
Restorative practice is a strategy that seeks to repair relationships that have been damaged, including those damaged through bullying. It does this by bringing about a sense of remorse and restorative action on the part of the offender and forgiveness by the victim.
Restorative Practices refers to the way the school works in promoting genuine relationships which result in better behaviour and learning at school. It also refers to the way in which young people are asked to think about, and take responsibility for, their behaviour and its effects on others. This approach endeavours to build a caring community around students whilst not accepting harmful behaviour. When conflicts occur, the restorative approach involves all those affected to find a way forward.
So how are conflicts solved using Restorative Practices I hear you ask?
The students involved agree that a conflict or argument has taken place and agree to repair the harm or damage done. All those involved have a chance to give their point of view and say how things can be fixed in the future. In this way, an agreement is reached - it still may involve specific consequences or discipline procedures, depending on the circumstances. Importantly, relationships are healed wherever possible and any contributing problems are identified for follow up.
Schools adopting a restorative philosophy use relational language that demonstrates respect, care and mutual responsibility. Feelings are shared and explored through affective statements and affective questions. Conversations about misbehaviour provide opportunities for students to consider how their behaviour impacts on others and how things can be put right. Students are supported to accept responsibility for their actions. A teacher using this approach would talk through what has happened using a restorative chat.
This might take place informally in the classroom, corridors or playground when children have caused some harm or significant disruption.
An important Restorative Practice at Kingsville Primary School is the Restorative Chat. A restorative chat seeks to understand, make amends and put things right.
AT KINGSVILLE IT LOOKS LIKE THIS:
To the person(s) who caused harm:
We’re here to talk about.....Can you tell us what happened?What were you thinking? What was in your head/in your mind? Was it the right thing/wrong thing to do?Who has been affected/upset/harmed by your actions?In what ways?How has this affected you?
To the person(s) harmed:
What did you think when it happened?What have you thought about since?How has it affected/upset/hurt/harmed you?What has been the worst thing?What is needed to make it right/to make you feel better?
To the person who caused harm:
Is that fair? Can you do that?What else do you need to do to make things better? How can you fix this?
To the person(s) harmed:
Is that okay/Do you agree? Is that fair?
How can we make sure this doesn’t happen again? Is there anything I can do to help?Is there anything you would like to say?
(Formally record agreement/congratulate them for working it out. Arrange a time to follow-up/meet again to see how things are going).