Student Wellbeing - Restorative Practice

 Restorative Practice is a strategy that seeks to repair relationships that have been damaged.

Restorative Practice is built around respect, fairness, developing empathy and promoting positive behavioural change.  It is an approach used at Nazareth to manage inappropriate behaviour where the focus is on reparing harm and building relationships.  This includes relationships that have been damaged through bullying.

Rationale 

The rationale behind this approach is that when students have displayed inappropriate behaviours and relationships have been damaged, they reflect on the impact of their behaviour to others:

  • they become remorseful and act restoratively.
  • teachers can focus on the unacceptable behaviour of students than than their moral character.
  • this can lead to healthier interpersonal relations among members of the school community and more effective learning.

Application

1. At Nazareth, Restorative Practice can be undertaken in a variety of forums.  It can be conducted with varying degrees of formality.  It may include just those students directly involved in the inappropriate  behaviours that have damaged relationships, or in some circumstances may include a whole class or a community conference of supportive third parties, such a friends, bystanders and wellbeing leaders.

2. At Nazareth, staff are commonly guided by an agreed script which directs the teachers to ask the student who has damaged the relationship to describe what happened and to reflect on what harm it has done.  The victim is asked to say how she or he has been affected and what needs to be done to put things right.

3. Feelings of shame that are elicited need to lead to reintegration into the community rather than a sense of being alienated and stigmatised.

4. In the spirit of personal responsibility, forgiveness and commitment to positive future behaviour, all parties (including the target), express their acceptance of the proposed solution/s and discuss what can be done to prevent a recurrence.

5. The situation is then monitored by Nazareth staff and further interventions occurs if the situation does not improve.

6. In some cases considerable work is done behind the scenes to prepare the participants including bystanders and others to ensure a positive outcome.

Reference:

Rigby, K. (2010) Bullying Interventions in Schools: Six basic methods: Camberwell, ACER