Restorative Practice in the Junior School
Junior School Counseling Team
The Junior School counseling team introduced Restorative Practice to Junior School students throughout the winter months. Restorative Practice (RP) is an approach to conflict that focuses on community, perspective, and repairing the harm. Counselors worked with students on how to make sincere apologies and express themselves using “I” statements. An “I” statement relates to Kelso’s Choice “Talk it Out.” It is a tool used to express one’s feelings to another. For example “I feel upset when you don’t listen to me. I want to play together.” Sincere apologies consist of two parts. When you apologize you must say what you are sorry for and explain what you will do to make it better. Counselors emphasized to students that apologies are a promise to improve behavior in the future.
There will be RP parent workshops offered at the end of February. These workshops will be aimed at helping parents understand how Restorative Practice is used at Branksome Hall Asia and ways they can incorporate the RP approach at home. When children share situations of conflict with parents, it is important to challenge them to consider the other person's perspective and the impact of their actions. Below are some guiding questions from Margaret Thorsborne's “restorative chat” that might be helpful for parents.
If a child made a mistake:
- What happened?
- What were you thinking at the time?
- Who do you think has been affected by your actions?
- What can you do to make things right?
If a child was harmed:
- What did you think when it happened?
- What have you thought about since?
- How has it affected you?
- What’s needed to make things right?