At Barwon Heads PS we find it useful to use restorative practices.
Restorative Practice is a strategy that is used by teachers to guide students to reflect on their behaviour and understand how it may impact on others.
Restorative Conversations may be formal or informal. They consist of restorative discussions, questions and empathetic listening. The purpose being to guide people through reflecting on their behaviour, problem solving and repairing harm.
As opposed to traditional methods of conflict resolution which focus on laying blame for rules broken and administering consequences, restorative conversations help identify the impact of the behaviour and support the person who made the mistake to take steps to make things better. They also create space for the person harmed to be central to the process.
A series of leading questions are used (see below for the BHPS prompts) often including; What happened? What happened after your behaviour? Who else was affected and what do you think were their feelings? What have you learnt and what will you do differently next time? What are you going to do to make things right?
Restorative practice complements strength-based systems such as Positive Education and the rationale behind this approach is that when offenders reflect on their harm to victims, they become remorseful and act restoratively. Unacceptable behaviour rather than character is focussed on, and data in the UK has shown that 2 out of 3 cases of bullying have been prevented in schools that use restorative practices.
It is our hope that the use of restorative practices will complement the healthy interpersonal relations that already exist among members of the school community and contribute to more effective learning.