The Restorative Thinking team works with primary, secondary and special schools to implement whole school restorative practice. We also have a range of resources to support a curriculum-based restorative education, endorsed by the Anti-Bullying Alliance.
Restorative Thinking Limited has developed a practical toolkit for teachers to use in the secondary classroom. Restorative Thinking: A Restorative Practice Interactive Toolkit Written by Teachers, for Teachers (KS3 & KS4) equips pupils with the skills and language to find solutions to everyday conflicts and to reflect more on their own behaviour. It is solution-focused and deepens and develops pupil’s understanding of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural aspects of life. Download a leaflet introducing the toolkit here.
Delivered over twelve 50-minute sessions, the Restorative Thinking secondary toolkit provides a planned and coherent curriculum opportunity, which will enhance a school’s own ethos and values through the development of SMSC across the whole school. The toolkit offers pupils opportunities for peer mediation; it engages pupils in restorative processes and includes some wonderful resources to help pupils explore how restorative practices look and feel. The toolkit is effective because:
- It appeals to all learning styles (visual, auditory, kinaesthetic).
- Restorative Thinking promotes responsibility-taking and improves positive self-talk, leading to changes in attitude and behaviour.
- The programme draws on cognitive behavioural therapy, solution focused therapy and developmental psychology.
- Improves the capacity to change (positivity, resilience, self-talk, responsibility-taking).
- Facilitates the process of change (constructive development).
To support effective implementation of the tookit, we consult with leadership teams to structure training and support that best meet the needs and intended outcomes of individual schools. Please download an extract from the toolkit introduction focusing on Restorative Practice and Ofsted.
Restorative Thinking works with secondary schools to introduce and embed effective restorative strategies. In addition to our toolkits, we provide consultation, training in restorative approaches with SLT, staff and Governors to Level 1 and Level 2, consultation, wrap-around staff support, continuing CPD and evaluation.
To order your school’s copy of the toolkit, please visit our Order page. Here’s an extract from the introduction to the toolkit:
By Chris Straker
Restorative practices and ways of thinking are now developing and growing in many secondary schools. Experience and evidence at local and national levels has shown that restorative processes have a positive impact in changing school cultures, especially with regard to attendance and behaviour, when embedded in a wider restorative milieu, and within clear school improvement strategies.
Equally, school improvement strategies are enhanced by the use of restorative processes, not least through the fundamental drive of restorative work to build relationships and community amongst the adults and not just the pupils. Restorative processes also make challenge and support explicit in everything that happens in a school. This explicit challenge and support drives and underpins real change in a school. This consistency is something that is often absent from schools that are struggling to meet expected outcome targets around behaviour, achievement and attendance.
A school making a conscious decision to become restorative also opens a door to a new mindset and culture shift. It focuses on positive relationships and collaborative teaching and learning, with classrooms developing as communities. It means that teachers and pupils commit to looking at positive alternatives to reactive punitive behaviour solutions (e.g. exclusions), because they are confident that the matter is being dealt with in a clear and explicit way, understood and endorsed by all.
Restorative practices, as explained later in this toolkit, are built around five themes. Restorative approaches are a proactive way of working WITH people, not doing things TO them, not doing things FOR them and NOT being neglectful and doing nothing at all (Wachtel and McCold, 2001, p.117). They seek to increase the opportunities for dialogue at every level.
Goldsmiths University research (2010) into anti-bullying strategies listed the conditions required to develop effective restorative justice in schools. To paraphrase them, these are:
- whole staff training
- the embedding of restorative practices, with students
- making restorative practices transparent in policies and procedures
- having direct sanctions to back up if the restorative process fails
The model of restorative practices suggested in this toolkit looks to build a restorative culture in a school, whilst allowing the development of staff and pupil skills to be established and provide longer term capacity building so the school becomes self-sufficient in its restorative needs and development.
Chris Straker, former Head Teacher at Endeavour High School in Hull; currently a restorative practice trainer and consultant, RSQM Assessor and Consultant for the Restorative Justice Council and Director with Restorative Thinking Limited.