Restorative Justice Approach to Problem Solving

The aim of Restorative Practices is to develop community and to manage conflict and tensions by repairing harm and building relationships. This is a priority for our school, as we see ourselves at the heart of and serving our community.

For effective teaching and learning to take place, we believe that good relationships need to be at the heart of everything that happens at Lucas Valley Elementary School.

Restorative Practices

  1. Allow the act (unaccepted behavior) to be rejected, whilst acknowledging the intrinsic worth of the person and their potential contribution to society.
  2. Rejects the ‘Act not the Actor’. Separates the ‘Deed from the Doer’

It is a process that puts repairing harm done to relationships and people over and above assigning blame and dispensing punishment. It shifts the emphasis from managing behavior to focusing on building, nurturing, and repairing relationships.

We know that a whole school restorative approach can contribute to:

  1. Happier and safer schools
  2. Mutually respectful relationships
  3. More effective teaching and learning
  4. Reduced exclusions
  5. Raised attendance
  6. Addresses bullying behavior
  7. Raises morale and self-esteem
  8. Helps promote a culture of inclusion and belonging
  9. Increases emotional literacy

As part of the Restorative Process, child, staff, families, and counseling teams could be involved in meetings, conferences, student study teams, etc that include questions related to:

  1. What happened?
  2. What were you thinking about at the time?
  3. What do you think now?
  4. Who else has been affected by what you did?
  5. What do you think needs to happen to make things right?

Something to keep in mind:

Restorative Practice is NOT just about the questions. It is about a process that is seen as fair: allows free expression of emotions and significantly is about offering high levels of support, while challenging inappropriate behavior through high levels of control, encouraging acceptance of responsibility, and the setting of clear boundaries.

Our goal, of course, is for our children to understand and use these discussions in their everyday school life as well as outside the classroom.

As part of our commitment, you as parents/carers, may also on occasion be asked to contribute to a meeting if this is felt to be the right course of action.

It is important that staff deal with situations to establish and develop their own relationships. Aim to separate the deed from the doer and the act from the actor as integral to Restorative Practice philosophy.

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