Restorative Practices

Week One , Term 2

I know a lot of students (and parents/care givers) have enjoyed the school break, and why not, a chance to relax and replenish. But now it is time to push on to get the best grades possible in each subject by completing student work to the best of one’s ability and communicating effectively with teachers.

I am always aware how stressful this time of year is for many people with in our learning community. For students, staff and families this time of year seems to be a bit of a pressure point when it comes to stress and trying to maintain good and positive relationships. Therefore I thought it might a good time to focus on the basics in keeping up good relationships and improving them over time.  This is also a school focus through Restorative Practices and students learning about communication and building and maintaining positive relationships. This can be seen in terms of good connecting habits. These include; listening to others, encouraging others, supporting and caring for others, trusting others, respecting others, accepting others for who they are and where they are and always negotiating agreements made. These relational skills are important to remember when faced with a difficult situation or we are simple feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Research shows that communication of feelings of stress can reduce stress levels significantly. As the saying goes a problem share is a problem halved, especially when people share things using good connecting habits. Interesting physical activity or exercise can also reduce stress greatly. In fact 20 minutes of exercise can reduce feelings of stress for up to four hours.

So the point is life is full of surprises and challenges, so good some not so good and a few really, really bad. But you can check for yourself how you go in maintaining good connecting habits, communicate what makes you feel upset or uncomfortable and go for physical activity to aid stress.

Remember if you are really concerned with the levels of stress of your child, especially if you have seen significance changes in behaviour recently, then contact The Well Being Team through the school and we can talk.

Thanks you for your time,

Peter Norde

School Counsellor

Connecting habits –  Making and keeping good relationships

Listen to others

Encourage others

Support others

Trust others

Respect others

Accept others for who they are

Always negotiate agreements

Disconnecting habits- breaking relationships

Criticising others

Blaming others

Complaining to or about others

Nagging others

Threatening others

Punishing others

Rewarding in an attempt to control others

 

Restorative Practices at Wirreanda!

Restorative: to give back, to repair the harm and rebuild, restore a sense of wellbeing and connection.

Recently some Australian and New Zealand schools have led the way with a different approach to behaviour management – through restorative practice. The restorative practice approach to behaviour management in schools has its origins in restorative justice and victim-offender mediation although restorative approaches have a long history as a form of communal justice in the Maori and other traditional communities.

In schools a restorative approach emphasises the importance of sound, healthy relationships between all members of the school community. From this perspective behaviour problems are viewed as a breakdown in relationships and misbehaviour is defined as a violation against people and relationships in the school and wider community rather than as a violation of the school and its rules.

To implement restorative practices at Wirreanda, during terms 3 & 4 staff and students are focusing on using restorative language. A large part of this focus is using questioning to problem solve conflict; this process involves all parties accounting for their roles and restoring the relationship in order to avoid future conflict and move forward positively.

If you have any questions, or would like further information please contact Emily Parker (Student Counsellor).

Emily.parker964@schools.sa.edu.au

 

Restorative questions.

For those who have been harmed:

  • What did you think when you realised what had happened?
  • What impact has this incident had on you and others?
  • What has been the hardest thing for you?
  • What do you think needs to happen to make things right?

For those who have done the wrong thing:

  • What happened?
  • What were you thinking about at the time?
  • What have you thought about since?
  • Who has been affected by what you have done? In what way?
  • What do you think you need to do to make things right again?