Restorative Practices Through Real Schools
We have partnered with Real Schools and have been transforming and enhancing our school’s culture through a focus on what REALLY counts. The outstanding results of this program are reflected in our school culture and in our community values.
Glen Huntly Primary School uses Restorative Practices to encourage engagement and build pride, respect and responsibility in each individual student. The school is committed to the Real Schools program, which implements Restorative Practices across the school, to maximise student engagement and wellbeing and social justice approaches. Restorative Practices seeks to value and support those involved so that they feel empowered to take positive action to address the situation and move forward. This will be extended to the classroom and be the basis for respectful communication, relationships and how to respond to behavioural issues.
Through discussion and learning opportunities, teachers incorporate weekly proactive community circles into their class’s routine. The purpose of the check-in and check-out circles is to focus on building strong supportive relationships and maintaining a harmonious classroom. This totally underpins our core purpose, which is learning. Adam Voigt (director of Real Schools) continues to be available to work with our staff. We always find Adam’s presentations highly stimulating and beneficial.
We aim to build community and relationships, by incorporating weekly proactive circles into the classroom routine. During circles, participants sit in a circle, with no physical barriers. Use a sequential go-around in which each participant shares a thought, feeling, or experience related to the topic under discussion, sometimes passing a “talking piece” to indicate whose turn it is to speak. Circles provide opportunities for students to build trust, mutual understanding, and shared values and behaviours. For the circles, teachers may use topics drawn from problems or behaviours they’re seeing in their own classrooms, or focus on issues the PLC or leadership team wants addressed school wide, such as name calling, fighting, or thoughtlessness.