What are Restorative Justice Approaches?
Restorative Approaches are inspired by the philosophy and practices of Restorative Justice which aims to repair harm caused to relationships and communities by conflict.
Crucially it is believed that is best achieved by focusing upon the harm caused, rather than assigning blame and dispensing punishment which often fails to address the needs of those most affected.
Our school has adopted Restorative Justice approaches as they align with the ethos of our Catholic faith. As our school motto says, 'Christ is our Light', and he guides us to work within a spirit of love, forgiveness and reconciliation.
Restorative Justice approaches are:
- An understanding of how a community works;
- An understanding of our responsibilities to the communities that we are part of where we:
- Confront unacceptable behaviour;
- Praise acceptable behaviour
- Model restorative approaches
- Develop self regulating communities
- An understanding of the skills needed to communicate with each other and a commitment to developing these. They include:
Communication skills - Listening , Questioning, Answering and a shared language.
Restorative Justice - Check-in and Check-out
Children begin their day with check-in. This circle time helps to develop circle skills, taking turns, listening to others and a sense of community. It allows children the opportunity to express their feelings and emotions using a scale of 0-10 (ten being the best level of emotional wellness). Pupils are encouraged to explain the reasons for their 'number' but there is no pressure to do so. Children who are a constant low number will be given the opportunity to speak with a member of staff about why they are a low number. Check-out is the same but at the end of the day.
Restorative Justice is based on four key features:
What can RJ do for a school?
- Creates a happier and safer school
- Mutually respectful relationships
- More effective teaching and learning
- Reduces exclusions
- Raises attendance
- Develops emotional literacy
- Addresses bullying behaviours
- Raises morale by culture of inclusion and belonging
What is Restorative Justice Conferencing?
- A process for resolving conflict
- A common language to resolve conflict
- Focuses on the needs of the victim
- Allows the wrongdoer(s) to understand the impact of their actions
- Encourages wrongdoer(s) to take responsibility for their actions
- Therefore creates accountability
- Likely to change behaviour and build character
Our RJ Policy and parent/carer leaflet provide more details about this approach. If you have any queries or comments please speak with your child's class teacher or to Mrs Anna Kerr: Pastoral Support Manager.
Acknowledgements to: www.restorativejustice4schools.co.uk