At its simplest, Restorative Practices is an approach to behaviour management. Restorative Practices puts bad behaviour in the context of relationships and the effect that bad behaviour has on relationships, rather than simply as an instance of contravention of a rule.
In the wider community, bad behaviour directly affects those involved but has less effect on the community generally. In a school setting, the otherwise indirect effects of bad behaviour often do directly affect the classroom and sometimes the school community. This is the hothouse effect of having many people working closely together over a period of years.
In addition, in a school setting we have a community of young people who will and who need to make mistakes as part of their growth. Children will lie at some stage, children will form groups that exclude others and children will fight. As a school, we have generations of experience, we are in the best position to give guidance and to make realistic and fair judgments.
In a school setting, the impact of small things can be great due to the closeness of the community and the importance of creating a learning environment.
By taking a Restorative Practices approach, we do not dismiss poor behaviour but embr ace it as both an opportunity to learn and as a natural part of youth.
Restorative Practices requires our School Values to be communicated clearly early and often. The values are based on Gospel values. The values are the yardstick for our behaviour al expe ctations and apply to all students and staff.
In our humanity, we all do and say things that may be hurtful to others. We never ignore this, we repair the hurt whether it was intended or not. We are always honest.
In our humanity, we all feel intruded upon by others' behaviour . We exercise patience and calm. We are honest. We deal fairly and use tolerance and not anger.
We all contribute to creating an environment where there is calm and where there is trust, led by our teachers and staff. There is no place for intentional harm in our community, whether physical or emotional.