Restorative Thinking blog – Lesley Parkinson, Executive Director
This film shows staff and pupils at the Academy of Saint Francis of Assisi, a Liverpool secondary school, half way through a two-year project to implement whole school restorative practice. Liverpool City Council is funding the two-year pilot, which involves six Liverpool schools and is delivered with Restorative Thinking Limited.
This pilot involves all staff and pupils in each of the six schools, empowering children/pupils to take responsibility for their own actions, resolve conflict using new restorative skills, develop more positive relationships with peers and teachers and - in some schools - to take on the role of restorative practice peer mediator, resolving low level disputes involving other children in school.
There are clear opportunities, within a restorative ethos and culture and using practical restorative skills and processes, to apply restorative practice to anti-bullying strategies and approaches. This is covered in some detail in the Goldsmith’s Research Report: ‘The Use and Effectiveness of Anti-Bullying Strategies in Schools’.
From the Restorative Thinking website:
Restorative practice and ways of thinking are developing and growing in many schools across the UK. An increasing amount of evidence demonstrates a very positive impact on improving and sustaining positive behaviour, attendance, attainment and progress. At the heart of this is teaching and learning and modelling restorative conflict resolution skills to pupils.
Peer mediation and related approaches are having a profound impact on schools, families and most importantly on the development of pro-social skills and resilience in children. Pupils who are taught and experience this way of being and behaving become more able to manage their own behaviour and more able to reflect on the impact of their actions, to empathise with others. They understand what needs to happen where there is any harmful behaviour, including bullying, and they feel empowered to put things right.
Restorative Thinking Limited is running open training for primary, secondary and special schools in December, with a focus on how restorative practice can effectively be applied to anti-bullying strategies and teaching and learning.