• Restorative Practice at Tawa College

    New Zealand Schools are undergoing a huge shift in how they deal with young people and help them to engage with adults and learning in a positive way. These pages are designed to give you a flavour of how Restorative Practice is implemented at Tawa College. There are also links to documents and web pages which you will find useful if you are interested in Restorative practice and want to find out more.

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    We are extremely proud of the statement;

    "Teachers' use of restorative practices, together with the high profile they give to college values, underpin the positive relationships evident school wide. Students know what is expected of them and learn to take full responsibility for their behaviour."

    Education Review Office 2012

  • Philosophy

    "The essence of restorative practices is disarmingly simple: that human beings are happier, more productive and more likely to make positive changes in their behaviour when those in positions of authority do things with them, rather than to them or for them."

    Adapted from Wachtel 2004

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    We see parents contacting the college more and more, seeking guidance for bringing up young people in a caring and structured way. We feel Restorative Practice provides a framework for positively managing behaviour….providing students with an environment in which they can be confident outgoing people who feel part of the school community. We encourage teachers and students to develop positive relationships and strive to make every student feel connected to the college in one way or another. These positive relationships are essential when it comes to problem solving and finding ways forward if things go wrong.

  • Background

    In 2009 the college picked up on the idea of Restorative practice as it fitted with the schools philosophy of working with students as opposed to a more punitive approach. Robyn Chester (Assistant Principal) Michael Gates, Rachel Ubiaga (Y9 Deans at the time)began discussions with other schools who had been using this approach (Massey High) and people with in the Ministry of Education who were advocating the approach (Mark Corrigan).

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    The college began the early stages of implementing the policy school wide and slowly but surely meeting the challenges of changing the schools mind-set. This went hand in hand with a reassessment of the schools values with students and staff having input into what they felt the school stood for. The DOJUSTLY acronym was decided upon and the principles which underpin everything that happens at the college were set in stone.

    Today we are in the 4th full year of being a restorative school. Work continues with new staff and up skilling existing staff to provide the most supportive environment possible for the young people in our care.

  • In Practice

    Developing positive relationships.

    Restorative practice is sometimes described as 'relational practice'. It is fundamental to make students feel welcome and cared for no matter what their pervious experiences of school have been. In practice this means teachers taking an interest in what students are doing both in and out of school. Seeing the person not just the problem…..helping student overcome barriers to lateness or learning not just punishing them for being late or 'not doing work'.

    Helping students reflect on their behaviour

    If a student isn't learning in a class situation classroom teachers and Deans will try to find out what is preventing the student progressing and put measures in place to make sure these obstacles are overcome. Staff are also trained to help the student realise the impact their behaviour might be having on the others in the class and to use this reflection as a tool for driving behaviour changes.

    Parental involvement is key

    Students who have come to the attention of the principal may be asked to take part in a family group conference. These are form al meetings where issues are raised and problems are overcome through dialogue between all those involved. These may include (but not be limited to) students, parents, guidance counsellors, form teachers, classroom teachers, school senior management and the police. Plans are put into place and follow up occurs to ensure issues have been resolved.

  • Resources

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    Tawa College RP handout to Y9 parents

    Restorative schools website

    Classroom tools to help communication

    Restorative Practices International