To build the wellbeing of the whole school community there needs to be a shift in our thinking from what school rule was broken, why did it happen and what are the consequences, to this was a violation of our school community’s trust which affected respectful relationships. Then ask students how they can use their strengths to make things right for others and act more positively. This approach promotes growth mindsets to ensure others matter, because they do. This shift is about moving from external control by adults to showing students how they can use their top strengths to build their own internal control to understand what must happen to make things right and how will it be done. Asking students who do the wrong thing to complete Restoring Esteem will assist them to have empathy for others. Reflecting on the following questions focuses students on using their strengths to make changes themselves:
What was I thinking at the time?
Who has been affected by what happened and how?
What have I been thinking since the event?
What could l have done or said differently?
What would I now do and say?
What do I have to do to make things right?
How can I use my top strengths to achieve this?
A whole school approach to restorative practises, starts with educating staff, parents and students about processes and policies that relate to not only behaviour management but relationship management. A restorative approach does not replace a traditional behaviour management programme and process, rather it enhances and builds upon them. We focus less upon the action and the consequences and more on the hurt or damage that has been done to the relationship and how best to repair that damage. If the relationship is not repaired and restored, then there are no consequences for a behaviour that will have a positive outcome. Consequences for poor behaviour and decision making should be about giving back to the school community through community service. Consequences for poor decision making in regards to academics should be made up by spending time focusing on the academic outcomes. Above all, the focus needs to be on respectful relationships and the return to appropriate conduct.
Deputy Principals - Students