Student Wellbeing - Restorative Practice

‘At St Anne’s our Social Emotional Vision aspires to develop positive relationships in a safe, supportive and connected community, where the individuality of each person is valued. We nurture spirit, creativity and reflection as we engage in learning together’. (Staff at St Anne’s 2010)

The most profound learning occurs when there are safe and healthy relationships throughout a school community and teaching emotional literacy is an essential part of a positive and successful environment. St Anne’s is a school where our education is Values-based. “Values determine our thinking and behaviour. They are the principles, fundamental convictions and standards that act as the general guide to our behaviour. They are enduring beliefs about what is worthwhile, the ideals for which we strive. (Neil Hawkes)

St Anne's is an accredited Restorative Practice School. This approach is consistent with the increased emphasis in schools on Social Emotional Learning, Values Education and Civics and Citizenship.

There are a number of Restorative Practice Principles.

These include:

  • Separating the deed from the doer, as we can recognise a student’s worth and accomplishments while disapproving of their wrongdoing.
  • Fostering awareness in the student of how others have been affected by their choices Using collaborative language to involve the student in actively solving a problem and thereby enhance responsibility for their words and actions.

The Staff at St Anne’s have been trained to use a Restorative Approach and as such, their conversations would focus on specific behaviours or an incident without blaming by utilising ‘relational questions’ to draw out who was affected and how they were affected and direct questions toward problem solving.

In a school context, there is a continuum of Restorative Strategies ranging from informal uses of Restorative language in conversation, Classroom Circles and/or meetings, to a more formal setting using ‘Affective Questions’.

Using the Affective Questions model, the questions would include some or all of these:

  • What happened?
  • How did it happen?
  • How did you act in this situation?
  • Who do think was affected?
  • How were they affected?
  • How were you affected?
  • What needs to happen to make things right?
  • If the same thing happened again how could you behave differently?