‘A restorative approach at Waikiki PS supports students in self recognition of undesirable behaviours, while guiding students towards becoming accountable for their own actions and restoring the harm to the community. Stakeholders engage in meaningful conversations that address the harm that has been caused and provide ideas (or solutions) to resolve the issues.’
Restorative Practice is an approach to behaviour management and conflict resolution that focuses on building and repairing relationships, fostering empathy, and promoting accountability. It is often implemented in schools to create a positive and inclusive school climate. Here are some key points about Restorative Practice:
- Philosophy: Restorative Practice is rooted in the belief that people are happier, more cooperative, and more likely to make positive changes when those in authority do things with them rather than to them or for them. It emphasises the importance of relationships, respect and repairing harm caused by conflicts or misbehaviour.
- Dialogue and Empathy: Restorative Practice encourages open and honest dialogue, active listening, and empathy. It provides a structured framework for individuals to express their feelings, concerns, and perspectives in a safe and supportive environment.
- Accountability and Responsibility: Restorative Practice promotes a sense of personal accountability and responsibility for one’s actions. It focuses on understanding the impact of one’s behaviour on others and encourages individuals to take responsibility for repairing the harm caused.
- Restorative Circles and Conferences: Restorative Practice often involves the use of restorative circles or conferences, where participants gather in a circle to discuss issues, address conflicts, and find resolutions collaboratively. These circles provide a space for all voices to be heard and for individuals to take ownership of their actions.
- Building a Positive School Climate: Restorative Practice aims to create a positive and supportive school climate by fostering a sense of belonging, empathy, and mutual respect among students, staff, and the wider school community. It can contribute to reducing disciplinary issues, improving relationships, and enhancing overall well-being.
Implementing Restorative Practice in schools typically requires training and ongoing support for staff, as well as a commitment to creating a restorative culture throughout the school community.
Overall, research suggests that Restorative Practice offers a constructive alternative to punitive approaches, promoting positive relationships, personal growth, and a sense of responsibility among students.