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Wellbeing Blog 9.3.21

9 March 2021

Term 1 is flying by!

We are already halfway through the term and it is flying by!  There are so many exciting things happening at school and I think we are all loving having our students at school every day after 2020!

Our African Cultural Connectionz Day was wonderful – thank you so much for assisting your child to dress up for the day!  It was a colourful explosion and matched our fabulous drumming incursion.  I am including a couple of pictures but there is a display near the office for you to look at next time you are in.

Restorative Practices

As most of you know, at CCPS we use Restorative Practices as a method of managing conflict.  We are working with Adam Voigt from Real Schools to really embed this process throughout out school – hopefully you were able to join into his parent session in Term 4 last year, but there will be more opportunities for you to hear from Adam as the year continues.  I thought you might like some more information about Restorative Practices to better understand what we aim to do:

Some of the Theory

The Principles of Restorative Practices in Schools:

  1. Focuses on harms and consequent needs (the people harmed, as well as the community and those responsible)
  2. Addresses obligations resulting from those harms (those responsible, but also the community)
  3. Uses inclusive, collaborative processes
  4. Involves those with a stake in the situation (people harmed, people responsible, community members)
  5. Seeks to put right the wrongs

In working towards a restorative approach, CCPS aims to:

  • Focus primarily on relationships and secondarily on the rules
  • Give voice to the person(s) harmed and allow opportunity for their needs to be met and to be part of the resolution
  • Give voice to the person(s) who caused the harm and allow an opportunity to make amends to those harmed
  • Engage in collaborative problem-solving allowing all affected to be engaged in the process
  • Enhance responsibility by allowing the person(s) causing harm to reflect and understand.
  • Empower change and growth through acknowledging responsibility or being supported to do so
  • Plan for restoration, ongoing accountability and future steps

What it looks like in practice

The students are really aware now of how we resolve conflict at our school and are prepared to talk about problems and work through to solutions.  I have outlined a RP conference below, so you can see how it looks:

Issue:  Two Year 1 students were playing with a soccer ball on the oval and a Year 3 student kicked their ball away from them, on a number of occasions during the lunch break.  The Year 1 students eventually reported this to the Yard Duty teacher.

The staff member says to all:

  • We are here to sort out the incident that happened at lunchtime
  • Only one person talks at a time
  • Everyone will get an opportunity to speak

To the Year 3 student who kicked the ball away:

  • Can you tell me what happened?
  • What were you thinking at the time?
  • What have you thought about since?
  • Who has been affected by what you did?
  • How have they been affected?
  • Has anyone else been affected? How?
  • Is what happened fair? This could be asked several times during this part of the conversation

To the Year 1 students who had their game interrupted (individually):

  • What was your reaction at the time of the incident?
  • How did you feel about what happened?
  • What did you think at the time?
  • What have you thought about since then?
  • How have you been affected?
  • What has been the hardest thing for you?

To all three students

The person who did the harm first

  • What do you think you need to do to make things right? or
  • What would you like to see happen to repair the harm?
  • Is that fair?
  • Is that realistic and achievable?

To all

  • Restate the agreement
  • Is there anything else you would like to say?
  • Is that the end of the matter?
  • The students are then congratulated on resolving the issue.

I have found consistently that the power of this practice is in the person who has harmed hearing how it made the ‘victims’ feel – in most cases this is not something they have thought about.  The students have come up with many different ideas of how to fix the problem, some of which have been apologizing (which sounds simple, but can sometimes be all that is required), playing a game altogether, working out mutually agreeable arrangements for games and times to play together, etc.   A key aspect is that the consequences match the harm caused.

If you have any questions about Restorative Practices, please see me!

7 Ways to Help Your Child Handle Their “After School Restraint Collapse”

By Andrea Nair

This was a terrific article I found recently about kids “falling apart” after school, why they do it and what to do as a parent.  It has some great ideas – and I am sure you will recognise the signs when your child is exhausted after a day at school or kinder!

I recommend the whole article but here are the key points:

RE-CONNECT POSITIVELY

Greet your child with a smile and a hug instead of, “Do you have any homework?” or “I heard you got in trouble today.” Also don’t ask, “How was your day?” No one really wants to answer this question.

CREATE SPACE

Give your child time to hear his/her thoughts right after pick-up time. If you are driving, put on the radio and stay quiet. If you are walking, say little or just comment on the nice things you notice: “Did you see that cute little yellow bird?” This isn’t the time for big conversations.

FEED THEM

Many children do better if they aren’t asked, “Are you hungry?” Assume that many of your children’s tanks are empty when they get home. Fill the physical one by setting out food for them without saying anything. Real food like veggie sticks, cut fruit, cheese, or nuts will give them the boost they need. I also suggest setting out glasses of water, too.

REDUCE THE HOUSEHOLD CLUTTER AND NOISE

People are actually affected by what is in the space around them – some more so than others. I know mornings can be hectic, but try to leave a fairly tidy house to arrive back home to. I was doing terribly at this before so I decided that each night I needed to do a full “tidy time” (with help from others) so that the house wasn’t a disaster in the morning. I also woke up a bit earlier to put the breakfast/ lunch-making stuff away before leaving for the day.

Arriving home after school or work is not a great time to fire up the vacuum!

STAY CONNECTED THROUGHOUT THE DAY

Use an age and personality-appropriate way to stay connected with your child when he or she is away from you during the day. I call these connection bridges. I have used things like little post-it notes in the lunch or packing a special treat for my kiddos.

PROVIDE DECOMPRESSION TIME

Depending on the personality of your child, provide a way to decompress at the end of the day. Give your child the lead to start talking when he or she is ready. When that time happens, you can inquire about any emotionally intense moments that may have happened during that day.

Also, think about using “play therapy” with your child even if he or she is a teenager! People decompress through play, which helps process the events of the day. Provide time to either do nothing/ rest or play out the day in a physical way. Some younger children like to wrestle, run around, or get in a tickle fight. Older ones might like to go for a bike ride or hammer out their energy on an instrument.

This might sound odd, but being upside down can really help! There’s a reason “inversion poses” are recommended in yoga – this is my favourite decompression method.

HAVE FUN

“Laughter releases the same tension as tears.” Laura Markham, PhD. Having fun is a great way to release tension from the day.

Find the full article here:

7 Ways to Help Your Child Handle Their “After School Restraint Collapse”

 

And finally…..

Don’t forget Harmony Day at CCPS on Thursday 18th March!

Kerry Bates (Assistant Principal)

Enrolment