At Brooklands Farm Primary school we use restorative justice. Watch the video below to find out more…
Every child at Brooklands Farm Primary School has a protective hand. Every finger represents a person who they would go to when their well being has dropped. The five people of the protective hand can consist of peers, staff and family.
We aim to teach children to build and maintain respectful, collaborative relationships.
A brief overview of the principles and practices of restorative practice:
The purpose of restorative practice is to develop relationships and teach children to have self-managing behaviours.
We begin and end every school day with a community circle (check-in/check-out) because this helps us to form relationships between our class communities. It introduces respectful relationships where each child needs to listen to their peers and each child has a voice. This is also an opportunity for the group to learn about each other.
We use these circles as an opportunity to gage children’s wellbeing. If the children are on a low wellbeing then we act upon this with the individual.
Restorative practice is a teaching tool that we use to help children to understand how behaviour affects relationships and be able to find ways to fix a relationship that may have been broken.
We do not blame children for incidents therefore; we do not ask ‘why’ a child has done something. This is a pointless question that doesn’t help the child understand the results of an action. Instead we talk about the behaviour being unacceptable. The behaviour is the reason that a relationship has been broken and we make the child understand that it is the behaviour that needs to change.
When we discuss incidents with the children we use a specific structure;
Qualify the relationship– Always use a clam voice. If you start shouting, the children will not want to open up and talk to you about the incident and will therefore not learn from their actions. Make sure that the children are calm and they understand that they are valued and that you care about them.
This may be by a cuddle and a talk-down.
This is a very important step. Without creating an environment of calm the children will not be open and honest to learning from their actions. Do not allow the children to scream at each other. Make sure that both children are calm.
You can often start this section with an ‘I’ statement. E.g. “I am really worried that your wellbeing is low…” or “I thought you were friends …”
Find Out– Start with the wrong-doer and ask ‘Can you tell me what happened?’
Ensure that the children are aware that you expect truth and honesty.
Listen to both sides of the story. Tell the children back what they have told you happened.
It is often useful to draw the events with the children in a social story.
Effect– This is the part of the discussion where the children learn how the behaviour has affected others.
How did that make them feel? How do you feel about that? What will happen to our school resources if that happens? What will your teachers and school friends think about that?
Solution – What are you going to do to fix the problem? How are we going to mend our relationship?
Think outside the box, this is often more than just saying sorry for example; it could be taking the child to the first aid station if they have been hurt.
We link this to our behaviour chart. E.g. “As a consequence of that action you are not showing us expected behaviour and your name needs to move down to warning 1.”