Using Restorative Practices in Errigal College we concentrate on restoring or repairing relationships when infractions of the Code of Positive Behaviour occur.
Using this approach we encourage individuals to take responsibility for their actions. This involves listening to the views of others, taking responsibility, repairing relationships and moving on. Restorative Practices support and strengthen the Code of Positive Behaviour by managing conflict, hurt and tensions and by repairing compromised relationships.
All teachers in Errigal College have been trained in Restorative Practices and at all times the school endeavours to employ a restorative approach to promote positive behaviour. Restorative Practices are at the core of our school’s ethos as we believe that the rebuilding of relationships, after harm has been caused, is essential for future community harmony.
Using Restorative Practices in Errigal College we are committed to building positive relationships for our students, teachers and those actively involved in our whole school community. We use this approach to develop good relationships, to develop more effective teaching and learning practices, to prevent the escalation of conflict and handle conflict and wrongdoing in a creative and healthy manner, by affording individuals the opportunity to be accountable and to take responsibility for their behaviour.
When dealing with conflict we strive to be non-judgemental, to listen with empathy, to listen for feelings and needs, to model good practice, to use restorative language and to engage in restorative conversations.
We use the Restorative Practices Questions in conflict situations to resolve difficulties and repair harm. The questions promote reflective thinking and the goal is for the wrongdoer to realise the consequences of their behaviour and to repair the harm which their actions have caused.
The questions asked are:
- What happened?
- What were you thinking about at the time?
- What have you thought about since the incident?
- Who do you think has been affected by your actions?
- In what way have they been affected?
- What do you think you need to do to make things right?
We find that using Restorative Practices to resolve conflict gives everyone involved a sense of resolution in almost all cases. Students’ connections to staff and other students is strengthened. Repairing harm and restoring relationships after transgressions helps keep students connected to a positive school community.