John the Baptist Community School is working to make the school a restorative school. Restorative Practices are a set of skills that help develop good relationships between all members of the school community. Restorative practices have its roots in restorative justice that emphasizes repairing the harm done to people and relationships rather than only punishing offenders. Restorative Practice is about building positive relationships across the school environment. This demands a respectful awareness of the dignity of each individual. preventing the escalation of conflict and handling conflict and wrongdoing in a creative and healthy manner.
Relationships matter for effective teaching and learning – all the evidence on how the brain works suggests that the safer and happier a person is the more receptive they are to new ideas. Stress and fear shrinks the brain and reduces the ability to process new information. When young people have positive connections with their fellow students and their teachers, they feel safer. Relationships matter when things go wrong especially; learning how to accept responsibility, experiencing being held accountable for one’s own choices, and learning how to put things right with those who share the problem, give young people invaluable skills for life. Isolation and bullying can only thrive in environments where there is no care and connection, where there is no sense of community and belonging.
Restorative Practices are increasingly used in schools, both primary and secondary, as a core part of teacher-pupil engagement, behaviour management and conflict resolution. There are numerous studies in schools, which demonstrate very positive outcomes resulting from the implementation of the approach.
All members of management are trained in the use of restorative practice approaches, as are all Year Heads. This ethos is present throughout the school.
Parents/guardians may find using this approach helpful at home with students, using the below questions to address incidents or behaviour: