At Fernhurst Primary School, we believe in ensuring that children understand the impact of their actions. We recognise that children are still learning and will make mistakes when interacting with others. Through our restorative, relational approach to behaviour, we aim to increase awareness of our behaviours and develop well rounded, thoughtful individuals.
Restorative approaches (sometimes referred to as restorative practice) is a mindset, providing the foundation to build, maintain and repair relationships. The restorative ‘way of being’ creates a culture of high challenge and high support, and aims to work with people rather than doing things to or for them. This sits alongside a series of actions to support good choices and sanction behaviours that are not approrpiate.
Relationships are at the heart of restorative approaches, built on mutual respect with individuals taking responsibility for their actions.
Adopting restorative approaches into daily practice supports emotional and social development and literacy, and equips children and young people with problem solving skills as well as the ability to manage conflict when it occurs.
The principles of restorative approaches and affective questions
The following restorative principles together with the correlating affective questions underpin a variety of different practice models and techniques.
- Principle: An appreciation of individual perspectives
- Question: What happened?
- Principle: Promoting mutual understanding through making explicit the link between behaviour, thought and feeling
- Question: What are you thinking/feeling?
- Principle: A focus on impact, not blame
- Questions: Who has been affected, and how?
- Principle: Identifying underlying need
- Question: What do you need so that things can be better?
- Principle: Accountability and responsibility for self and others
- Question: What needs to happen to move thins forward/put things right?
There is a range of well-developed restorative practices which are underpinned and supported by non-violent and non-confrontational communication.
Less informal practices include affective statements that communicate people’s feelings, as well as affective questions that encourage people to reflect on how their behaviour has affected others.
More formal types of restorative approaches include circles and very structured restorative conferences, which require careful planning and preparation.
The important thing to remember is that restorative approaches is not something you do, but who you are, which means that you might be already working restoratively with people without even realising it.
Please refer to our behaviour policy for further information.