Restorative Practices

An introduction to Restorative Practice for parents/carers

The aim of Restorative Practices is to develop community and to manage conflict and tensions by repairing harm and building relationships.  This is our priority as a restorative school, as we see ourselves at the heart of and serving our community.

For effective teaching and learning to take place, we believe that good relationships need to be at the heart of everything that happens at Deep Creek Middle School.

Restorative Practices

  1. Allow the act (unaccepted behavior) to be rejected, whilst acknowledging the intrinsic worth of the person and their potential contribution to society.
  1. Rejects the ‘Act not the Actor’. Separates the ‘Deed from the Doer’

It is a process that puts repairing harm done to relationships and people over and above assigning blame and dispensing punishment.  It shifts the emphasis from managing behavior to focusing on building, nurturing, and repairing relationships.

We know that a whole school restorative approach can contribute to:

  1. Happier and safer schools
  2. Mutually respectful relationships
  3. More effective teaching and learning
  4. Reduced exclusions
  5. Raised attendance
  6. Addresses bullying behavior
  7. Raises morale and self-esteem
  8. Helps promote a culture of inclusion and belonging
  9. Increases emotional literacy


As part of the RP process, children and staff could be involved in meetings, circles, and conferences, etc that include:

The Five RP questions

  1. What happened?
  2. What were you thinking about at the time?
  3. What have your thoughts been since?
  4. Who else has been affected by what you did?
  5. What do you think needs to happen to make things right?

If your child has been harmed by the actions of others, which could include both staff and students, questions could include:

  1. What did you think when you realized what had happened?
  2. What have your thoughts been since?
  3. How has this affected you and others?
  4. What has been the hardest thing for you?
  5. What do you think needs to happen to make things right?

At Deep Creek Middle School we have written our own versions of the above questions to make them appropriate for our three phases; Foundation Unit, Key Stage One and Key Stage Two Whilst the questions have been edited to be language appropriate for the children at different ages, the thought processes and general structure of the Restorative discussion remain the same.

Restorative Practice is NOT just about the questions.  It is about a process that is seen as fair: allows free expression of emotions and significantly is about offering high levels of support, whilst challenging inappropriate behavior through high levels of control, encouraging acceptance of responsibility, and the setting of clear boundaries.

Please note that all school staff, teaching, and non-teaching have had (as a minimum) basic training about Restorative Practices whilst many have also attended enhanced training to try and ensure that our intentions translate into actions. 

All our children understand and use circles in their everyday school life.  As part of our commitment to RP, you as parents/carers may also on occasion be asked to contribute to a restorative meeting if this is felt to be the right course of action.  

It is important that staff deal with situations to establish and develop their own relationships.   Aim to separate the deed from the doer and the act from the actor as integral to Restorative Practice philosophy.

Listed below are some examples of effective statements and questions that all staff can use with pupils:


I am sorry that I misunderstood the situation …………

I feel really proud of you when I heard …………

I feel really pleased and encouraged that you made the right choice.

I respected your honesty and thank you.

I was very disappointed when you did that to…..

I am upset and angry about what has just happened.

I feel that (describe action) was very disrespectful.


What happened? – followed by:

What were you thinking about when you did that?

How did your actions affect …………………?

How do you think ……………………… felt about what you did?

How do you feel about what you did?

How do you feel about what you did and the effect it had on me?