Restorative practice is a philosophy that recognizes good relationships as the cornerstone of creating an effective learning environment.
The essence of Restorative Practice is accepting that people, especially teenagers, will make mistakes, and need to be given opportunity to atone for those errors in behavior.
At Tawa College we wish to work with students to form strong learning relationships, based on mutual respect and understanding.
A punitive system of discipline is concerned with rules that are broken, students who are responsible for breaking the rules and the predetermined punishments.
In contrast, a system of Restorative Practice looks at the relationships that are affected by an issue, who and how people have been affected and what needs to be done to solve the problem.
Students are encouraged to:
Respectful / Grassroots relationships
The first step in the progression is the building of good relationships: staff & students, students & students, staff & staff
The “Mini Chat” - Teacher & Student
Respectful conversation, short in duration, collaborative problem-solving of a small issue
The “Mini Conference”
Deans/HoFs/DPs & group of students or teacher/ student More structure discussion involving several participants which is not serious enough to require parental involvement
The “Class Conference”
Dean/HoF/DP & classStructured, circle based discussion when the learning in class is being affected by a conflict or ongoing behaviour. The facilitator will help students discuss the harm being done and a collaborative solution will be found to change the class learning culture.
Dean/HOF & student with supporters: parents, form teacher, Dean, DP or Principal.This meeting addresses ongoing behaviour that is affecting the student’s and their peers learning. Strengths and Challenges are discussed and a plan for future improvement collectively made.
The “Full Conference”
Trained Facilitated & students/staff/parents/community representatives
This is used for incidents when there is serious harm caused to staff, students or the school. It requires a high level of preparation following an investigation of the incident. Conferences take time to prepare, but have the potential to be powerful in terms of addressing harm, mending relationships and changing behaviour. A formal agreement and support structure will follow the conference.
Tell the story – Establishing understanding
What happened and what were the causes?
How did you become involved?
What were you thinking at the time?
Explore the harm – Developing empathy
Who has been affected? In what ways?
Was this fair or unfair?
What do you think it must have been like for them?
Repair the harm – Taking responsibility
What do you think needs to happen to put things right?
How will this happen, tell me more about this?
When can this happen?
Reach an agreement – co-constructing an agreement
How can we make sure this doesn’t happen again?
What do you need to stop doing, stay doing, start doing?
What support do you need from me/us?
If this happens again, what will you do differently?
Plan follow-up - allowing parties to move forward with support
When would be a good time to check in with you and see how you’re getting on?
What will happen if our agreed outcomes haven’t been reached?