St Leonard's College has adopted the philosophy of Restorative Practices in the way in which it seeks to work with all members of the College community. The College is committed to developing caring and respectful relationships within our community and to teaching young people to be responsible, empathetic and self-directed citizens; we believe that this approach supports these goals. The Restorative Practices approach is reflected in our pastoral care and discipline policies, as well as how staff and parents work together. It guides the College's response to managing student behaviour and adds to the classroom management strategies used by teachers.
What are Restorative Practices?
Restorative Practices refers to the ways classrooms work 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 away forward.
How are conflicts solved using Restorative Practices?
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.
A typical "Restorative Chat"
This might take place informally in the classroom, corridors or playground when children have caused some harm or significant disruption. For more serious situations, a similar outline of questions is used but in a more formal setting. An agreement is then completed and signed at the conclusion of the meeting or conference.
- What happened?
- What were you thinking at the time or what made you decide to do this?
- Who did you affect when you did this? How were they affected?
- I felt....
- What can you do to fix this?
- How can I help you?
How can parents help?
Encourage your children to see situations from the other person's point of view and expect them to treat others respectfully, as well as be treated respectfully themselves. Help your children to communicate their thoughts and feeling a and learn to listen to those of others. Encourage them to support others through friendship and to contribute to the well-being of the hole group by their behaviour.
There are many people who can discuss the Restorative Practices approach - the Director of Pastoral Care, the Head and Deputy Head of School, Team Leaders, Year Level Coordinators and Heads of House, or any member of the counselling staff.