Through Restorative Practices we seek to enhance relationships among students, and between students, teachers, and parents, so as to nurture our sense of community at Moorabbin Primary School. The Restorative Practices philosophy, which is in keeping with our TERRIFIC values and our approach in dealing with behaviour management, provides MPS students with the opportunity to develop self-discipline and positive behaviours in a caring, supportive environment.
A positive school climate, in which our students feel connected, is the best environment for learning. Our aims are:
- to educate students towards self-directed appropriate behaviours
- to promote, nurture and protect healthy relationships among members of our community,
- to enable students to be accountable with real consequences.
We believe that our approach to student behaviour management should primarily be an educative one. That is, the fundamental aim of our behaviour management philosophy and practice should be for students to learn to be responsible for themselves and their actions and to make genuine, positive contributions to their community. A Restorative approach sees conflict or wrong-doing firstly as an opportunity for students to learn about the consequences of their actions, to develop empathy with others, and to seek to make amends in such a way as to strengthen the community bonds that may have been damaged.
We do this by:
- having high expectations and insisting upon high standards of behaviour, and
- providing high levels of support and care for individuals.
Valuing both a strong sense of community and appropriate behaviours based on sound moral principles, Moorabbin has high expectations of all its community members. Students are called to high standards of personal behaviour and are challenged when these expectations are not met. Through developing empathy for others, students learn to become more positive, supportive and contributing members of our community.
Students perceive this approach as being ‘firm, but fair’. Being ‘firm, but fair’ involves:
- clearly articulating and reinforcing expectations,
- adhering to fair process in dealing with all cases of conflict and wrong-doing, and
- recognising that wrong-doing primarily causes harm to relationships, and that this harm must be repaired in order to move forward.
A Restorative approach:
- encourages students to appreciate the consequences of their actions for others,
- enables students to make amends where their actions have harmed others,
- requires students to be accountable for their actions,
- encourages respect for all concerned,
- A Restorative approach values the person while challenging negative behaviours, echoing Moorabbin’s TERRIFIC School Values.
How does it work?
- The students involved agree that a conflict or issue has taken place and agree to try to fix things.
- All those involved have a chance to tell their side of the story in a restorative chat.
- All those involved have a chance to say what they think should happen to fix the relationship.
- An agreement is reached between the students and relationships are healed where possible.
- The staff member involved facilitates the discussion but it is driven by the students. Agreements are decided upon wholly by the students.
- Disciplinary procedures may still be involved depending on the incident.
What questions are involved in a restorative chat?
- What has happened?
- Who has been affected or harmed?
- How can we fix it?
- How can we do things differently in the future?
- Individual conference
- John, we need to talk about………
- John, what were you feeling or thinking about when you….?
- What made you decide to do that?
- What have you thought about since?
- When you …………., who was affected by your behaviour?
- In what ways?
- How has this affected you?
- What do you need to do to fix things?
- What can I do to help you?
Below is the “script” that all staff at Moorabbin Primary school use when they are involved in a conference or Restorative Chat