At our school, we use Positive Behaviour for Learning – a whole-school approach for creating a positive, safe and supportive school climate where students can learn and develop. Our whole school community works together to establish expected behaviours and teach them to all students.
It enables students to develop a clear understanding of the required expectations in all school settings and become responsible for their own behavior. This enables students to work together to create a positive, productive and harmonious learning community.
As part of our school's student welfare policy we use the process of restorative practice for playground management. This has been successfully trialled within the school during 2007 and is now established within our school's culture. This is an outstanding practice that ensures a positive tone throughout our school.
Restorative means making things new again. When rules are broken in the playground the school takes a restorative (relational) approach. This allows teachers and students to:
Look at what happened, what harm has resulted and what needs to happen to make things right.
Focus on past, present and future
Emphasis on resulting harm.
Deterrence linked to relationships and personal accountability.
Consequences (punishment and sanctions) are helpful in influencing behaviour if they happen in a context that is meaningful and relevant. This must involve dialogue.
General aim of restorative practice
To encourage the use of restorative approaches to manage conflict and tensions by focusing upon repairing harm and strengthening relationships. Individuals are most likely to trust and cooperate freely with systems – whether they themselves win or lose by those systems – when fair process is observed.
Fair process builds:
This helps to share and gain a common understanding and to build stronger relationships. If an incident in the playground occurs, teachers use dialogue and ask the following questions to the students who have broken a school rule:
What were you thinking at the time?
What have you thought about since?
Who has been affected by what you did?
In what way?
What do you think you need to do to make things right?
If someone has been hurt by the incident then they are asked these questions:
What did you think when you realised what had happened?
What impact has this incident had on you and others?
What has been the hardest thing for you?
What do you think needs to happen to make things right?
Restorative practice is about three things:
What hurt or harm has resulted?
What is needed to make things right?
Our school-wide expectations are represented with owl mascots: