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Restorative Practice at Winterhill School

What is restorative practice?

Restorative Practice is a process that resolves conflict. It promotes telling the truth, taking responsibility, acknowledging harm as an appropriate response to conflict, and in doing so creates accountability.

Restorative practice creates the conditions to promote the development of self-managing behaviours and positive attitudes to learning.

Teachers respectfully engage students in this way to make them aware of how they are affecting their own and others’ learning.

Students are encouraged to develop an understanding of social responsibility, and given the responsibility to make things right. Where a student changes their behaviour in this context, it isn’t because of the threat of punishment, it’s because they are buying into the relationships they have with other students and teachers.


This develops students maturities, who can make good choices regardless of whether a teacher is present.

These are transferable skills that students can take with them through their lives.


Why Winterhill School has adopted a Restorative Practice approach?

We believe as a School that by embracing Restorative Practices (RP) as a means of empowering teachers (adults) to be successful and effective practitioners within their classroom and around school, we will raise standards and achievement across the school and develop aspirational, motivated and responsible students

In broad terms, restorative practices constitute an innovative approach to offending and inappropriate behaviour, which puts repairing harm done to relationships and people over and above the need for assigning blame and dispensing punishment. Simply, it is about getting the offender together with the victim to understand the harm that the offender’s behaviour has caused to the victim(s).

Effective Restorative Practices foster awareness of how others have been affected by inappropriate behaviour. This is done by actively engaging participants in a process which separates


the deed from the doer and rejects the act not the actor, allowing participators to make amends for the harm caused.  Restorative Practices acknowledges the intrinsic worth of the person and their potential contribution to the school community.

Restorative Practice Continuum


Restorative practice is a strategy that we use at Winterhill School to resolve incidents that occur in our school and is at the centre of our Core Values:

Respect, Resilience, Responsibility

The teacher (adult) acts as facilitator. It is the students themselves, who come up with the solutions. At Winterhill School we believe it is best to do things WITH PEOPLE. Wherever possible you should use fair process and our responses to challenging and/or inappropriate behaviour

should involve building relationships and repairing harm. It is our aim that our community follows this Restorative Practices framework.

Much of the work carried out to address challenging behaviour should be accomplished by working within the informal end of the spectrum that is at initial student / teacher (adult) interaction this could be in the classroom, at social times and or when representing the school at an offsite activity.


Staff at Winterhill School will always, within their professional conduct, be positive and respectful role models to the students. In our approach to Restorative Practice we follow:-

The three principles of Fair Process

  1. Engagement – involving all participants in the process.

  2. Explanation – shared understanding.

  3. Expectation Clarity – clear vision for the future.

Types of Restorative Work



For Serious incidents, Parents may

be invited.



1:1 with a mediator



This could be a letter or message, this

avoids a face to face meeting.

Restorative Questions


When an incident has occurred set questions can be asked by the teacher (adult) to the student(s) deemed the offender(s) and then to the student(s) affected, to resolve a situation:


1. To respond to challenging behaviour

  • What happened?

  • What were you thinking about at the time?

  • Who has been affected by what you did and how?

  • How do you think (the victim) felt when you did that?

  • What do you think you need to do to make things right?

  • What have you learnt to help you make the right choices next time?

2. To help those harmed by others actions:

  • What did you think when you realised what had happened?

  • What have your thoughts been since?

  • How has this affected you and others?

  • What has been the hardest thing for you?

  • What do you think needs to happen to make things right?

The questions are asked as part of an informal or formal conference. In using this approach the emphasis is on developing relationships through the perpetrator accepting responsibility for what they have done and making decisions about more appropriate future actions using a problem solving approach. It also enables the victim to sense closure and that the perpetrator has faced up to their actions.


Through our whole school Restorative approach we can contribute to:


Turning negative behaviour into a positive

For further information contact either your child’s BfL Leader or L. Cunningham (Student Engagement Lead).  At Winterhill school, Telephone: 01709 740 232

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