Restorative Practices

Restorative Practices
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Restorative Practices

During one of our staff training days in August, Prairie River Junior High Staff took part in Restorative Practices Training. This approach looks at a restorative approach to fulfill our school values. The aim of the restorative approach is to develop our school community and manage conflict and tension by repairing harm and building relationships.


This is shown in our school values which are:

  • Respect

  • Responsibility

  • Reliability


For effective teaching and learning to take place, we believe that there should be good relationships within the school. The restorative approach puts repairing harm done to relationships as a priority of the entire school community. This allows us to build, foster and repair relationships.


Restorative Practices gives us two opportunities:

  1. It primarily provides those who have been harmed with a forum to be heard, which is an essential part of healing.

  2. It provides an opportunity for the person harming another to accept responsibility for their actions, and an opportunity to make things right.


The main tools in the restorative practices approach is to have daily circles and restorative circles. Daily circles build trust and community with our school classrooms. Restorative Circle is the place where the two parties are able to discuss the situation with the intent of restoring relationships to support a good learning environment. 

 

In restorative circles these five questions give everyone a chance to be heard.

  1. What happened?

  2. What were you thinking about at the time?

  3. What were you feeling? What are you feeling now?

  4. Who has been affected?

  5. What needs to happen to make things fair and better?


The circles show that actions have consequences to how people are feeling, which has influence on how they are able to learn. Discussing these will encourage people to accept responsibility and repair relationships.


This approach is being adopted across the whole school. Within the next few months we will begin to create a peer mediation group. This group will be carefully chosen by their peers and they should reflect the entire school population. They will be trained in facilitating restorative and peacemaking circles. Studies have shown that peer mediation programs reduce discipline referrals if properly supported by staff and ongoing training. We will provide updates as we embed Restorative Practices in Prairie River Junior High School.


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