The process makes use of circle discussion time as well as these key questions.
> What happened?
> What were you thinking?
> Who has been affected by what happened?
> What needs to happen to put things right?
The normally asked, “Why did you do that?” is dropped because it tends to escalate any issue and result in defensiveness on behalf of students. Restorative Approaches are not a ‘soft’ option but rather promote telling the truth, taking responsibility, acknowledging harm as an appropriate response to conflict and in doing so creating accountability. It is part of a larger ethos also known as Restorative Practices/Justice. It adds very valuable tools to a contemporary international school as it not only allows the harmer to see the impact of their behaviour but also allows the "harmed" person the opportunity to see if they contributed to the conflict in any way by their own behaviour. Last week the Parents in Partnership session had a short presentation from Restorative Justice 4 Schools based in the UK. Staff had also had a day’s training which we intend to expand on with fully trained in-house facilitators who will be responsible for further staff and parent training. It is our firm wish that Restorative Approaches become fully understood and applied consistently and universally over the coming months.
Attached is a link to the presentation shared with Parents in Partnership.
By Craig Brown