What are Restorative Practices?
School-based Restorative Practices offer proven strategies and techniques to resolve unwanted behaviors including bullying. The goal is to promote safety, inclusion, respect, and positive relationships—all enhancing a school’s learning environment. The use of Restorative Practices promotes the reduction of suspension and expulsion through the practice of repairing the harm caused by unwanted behaviors. Restorative approaches are based on four key features:
- Respect: listening to other opinions and learning to value everyone.
- Responsibility: taking responsibility for your own actions;
- Repair: developing the skills within a school community so its individual members have the necessary skills to identify solutions that repair harm;
- Re-Integration: working through a structured, supportive process that resolves the issue and ensures behavior is not repeated, allowing students to remain in mainstream education while also achieving all of the above.
Why use Restorative Practices?
Restorative Practices are most effective when implemented as a whole-school approach. The goal is to reduce violence and bullying, improve behavior, restore relationships and, above all, repair harm. The result is a reduction in the need for disciplinary actions and an improvement to the school environment. Restorative practices aspire to:
- Develop: Emotional literacy, truth telling, accountability, and responsibility;
- Improve: Behavior, attendance, learning environment, and teaching;
- Increase: Empathy, happiness, and social and communication skills;
- Reduce: Bullying, exclusions, conflict, and the need for purely punitive disciplinary responses
Benefits of Restorative Practices
Implementing Restorative Practices helps develop a caring, supportive, and empathetic school environment.
- Creates a respectful culture.
- Promotes positive relationships.
- Develops self-esteem and self-confidence.
- Creates a highly enjoyable learning environment.
- Promotes social and emotional development
Coming together is a beginning… Working together is progress… Collaborating together is success!