RESTORATIVE PRACTICES IN Schools
The CSC Restorative Practices Project recognises that a restorative school focuses on the importance of relationships for maintaining emotional wellbeing, resolving conflict and preventing harm. We promote the ideal that Restorative Practices in schools are based on restorative justice principles concentrating on:
Building classroom communities that are supported by clear agreements, authentic communication and specific tools to bring issues and conflicts forward in a helpful way. They provide specific pathways to repair harm by bringing together those affected by misbehaviour into dialogue to address concerns, achieve understanding and come to agreement about setting things right
Restorative Practices support in schools is based on the premise that:
The more young people feel included, respected, encouraged and challenged appropriately the more they will learn and the less they will choose to engage in anti-social or disruptive behaviours.
Restorative approaches are not merely viewed as a way of responding to negative or challenging behaviour, they are embraced as a way of teaching and promoting pro-social behaviours in the context of relationships.
The journey of embedding and nurturing restorative practices in our schools is a long one and the CSC project embraces the concept of a “whole school approach’ where restorative practices are part of the day-to-day norm and culture of every classroom and teacher. Working together with schools on an individual basis the project supports schools to cultivate their own strategy for working towards a whole school approach.
The project is also supporting schools and community groups to identify ways that they can support each other in “joining up the restorative dots” in order to strengthen and support children’s and young people’s experience and understanding of Restorative Practice.
One example of this has been where a community project working with young children at risk of early school leaving has supported a local primary school to introduce restorative practices to a group of sixth class students who will be starting post primary school in September. As part of this programme a teacher and Schools Completion Project Worker (who have both been trained in Restorative Practices) were invited to one of the sessions to begin to build restorative relationships in advance of their transfer to post primary school.
 Transforming Conflict: The National Centre for Restorative Approaches in Youth Settings, Supporting staff team work with vulnerable people
 Restorative Justice Council. (2014), How to become a Restorative School, London
 Centre for Restorative Process. (2013). Introduction to teaching restorative practices with classroom circles. San Francisco
 Hopkins, B. (2011). The Restorative Classroom: Using Restorative approached to foster effective learning.
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