Restorative Practices in Anglican Schools
Restorative Practices are an effective and deeply Christian way of relating to each other. Schools which have embedded the practices professionally and thoroughly have found that they transform every level of school life.
Restorative practices are underpinned by belief in the worth of each person and the possibility of repentance and change. They also work from the conviction that restoration of relationships is a more positive and life-giving response to conflict and the pain inflicted by one person on another, than the traditional punitive approach. Restorative Practices, used within the justice system, underlie Restorative Justice.
The Ministry of Education has provided a detailed Kete of resources for getting your school started here. What we provide on this site are opportunities for building on the natural connections between RP and the Anglican Character of your school. These connections are more than just icing on the cake: they are foundational to the ongoing depth and power of restorative practices, as they are for restorative justice.
“Some observers have noted that as restorative justice has moved into the mainstream of criminological theory, the language of repentance, forgiveness, grace, reconciliation, mercy, peace and love… has become increasingly rare, partly because of the difficulties of transposing such virtues into public policy. Yet it is these qualities and commitments that contribute to the oft-called ‘magic’ of restorative justice, without which it risks being reduced to just another programme or procedure for crime control. This magic is easier to understand and sustain if we consciously give place to the spirituality of justice-making…and to the capacity of religious and indigenous traditions to illuminate and energise such spirituality.” (Professor Chris Marshall, Diana Unwin Chair of Restorative Justice, VUW. Full article here)
These are the resources we are presently developing. Links will become available as they are completed.
Understanding the Christian history of Restorative Practices
Understanding why Christian beliefs and values are central to Restorative Practices.
Restorative practices, restorative theology and the church.
Lessons on Peace and Conflict Resolution for secondary.
Lesson plans and “springboard ideas” for teaching practicing peacemaking for primary.
Liturgical material for:
- Services of reconciliation
- Services of blessing for places where traumatic events have occurred
- Services of thanksgiving
The ASO can provide, or find people to provide, the following services:
- Professional RP trainers who can integrate the Christian foundation of RP in their work.
- Assisting, if requested, at meetings of BOPs, BOTs and BOGs when the decision to become an RP school is made.
- Providing schools with an RP mentor to walk with the school through the introduction of RP.
- Providing PD to staff on the general implications of RP for school life and classroom practice.
- Providing PD to those staff trained in being Restorative Practitioners in the school on the links between RP and the school’s special character.
- Providing mentoring and training for chaplains for their particular role in RP schools
The Spinoff - The Side Eye: ‘Tough on Crime’ is Dead
A brilliant cartoon commentary on the justice system in New Zealand.
RP and our natural need for relationship
"Human beings are irreducibly relational creatures who need enduring and committed relationships in order to flourish as persons and to cope with the hard stuff life throws at us. Fictional relationships can teach us a lot, as the movie study shows, but real relationships are better. The genius of restorative practice lies in the confidence it places in the power of actual human connections to address our deepest human needs."
What is a restorative group conference?
The University of Western Australia is increasingly exploring restorative practices. Here's a document they use to explain conferencing. "Restorative practices provide an alternative to processes focussed on investigation and punishment, which tend to take things out of the hands of those most directly affected (including those affected by harm and those who caused it). Restorative practices aim to address the real underlying needs of everyone involved."
Online training for Staff
This excellent online course is based in the USA, but run by someone who trained in New Zealand. He calls the course, "Creating Caring Relationships in Schools." It is not specifically Christian, but is a great way for the staff of your school to deepen their understanding of, and skills in, restorative practice.