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Restorative Practices and Whole School Approach (WSA)

Restorative Practices and Whole School Approach (WSA)

Restorative Practices (RP) is a philosophy that focuses on the importance of building positive relationships, strengthening weakening relationships and repairing broken relationships. RP emphasizes on working “with” people in a firm and fair manner and has platforms that helps individuals take responsibility for their actions and work towards making things right.

When it comes to bullying, RP aims to restore relationships that have been damaged, namely that between the bully and victim. This is done through helping the bullies understand the impact of their actions and how it has affected those around. Victims are also given a voice to share how they have been affected in a safe environment. The goal would be to build a mutual understanding between all affected parties and work towards a positive solution to stop bullying through reconciliation.


• To develop empathy, a the sense of remorse and ownership of the situation
• Focus on correcting the behaviours
• Develop prosocial and interpersonal relations among members that goes beyond the school environment

5 common elements:

1. A set of principles or values that define the role that RP serves in the organization/community
2. Training of key personnel in RP and its uses
3. Communication strategies
4. Group circle discussions and activities
5. Restorative Conferences that voluntarily bring involved parties together to provide input into outcomes and address issues and harm

Whole school approach

A whole-school approach is when the entire school community takes action to improve student wellbeing. This involves everyone, be it a teacher, principal or students. Similarly, the whole school approach can be used to tackle bullying as well. Together, we can stop bullying!


• To have a common understanding of what bullying is
• To have a standard procedure for dealing with bullying incidents.

How to create a WSA environment:

1. School leaders that establish approaches and procedures to promote a positive bully-free school climate.
2. Supportive and connected school culture
3. Trained school staff with knowledge, skills and strategies to prevent and respond to bullying
4. Support students who require more intensive and individualised support
5. Student engagement, skill development and curriculum which supports appropriate socioemotional behaviour.
6. Ensure student wellbeing, encourage students to speak out
7. Identify ‘at risk’ students and provide support before an issue emerges or escalates
8. High levels of parental and community involvement

Below is a standard procedure for dealing with bullying that has been adopted by many schools: