A first trial at RP

After hearing a presentation on Restorative Practice I had a day trying out some of the techniques. It was powerful to see children taking part in telling “what had happened” and for the offender to be questioned about their behaviour without the associated discipline voice of the teacher. There were  two or three opportunities that went well and it was useful to develop alternative ways of “repairing harm” rather than the usual retributive sanctions. I was struck by the need to develop children’s emotional language for questions like, “how did it make you feel?” which often results in the stock answer, “it made me feel sad”. Children also want to put things right by, “being good” or “stop being naughty” – neither of these result in any transforming behaviour.In the afternoon I had a go at a whole class circle time but there was very negative behaviour during the group where three girls made their own non- participating community by sitting out of the circle. There wasn’t a sufficient sense of whole community or community disapproval to shift this power balance. 

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