Restorative Practice

Restorative Practice • About • Te Aroha College


Our school culture is based on positive and respectful relationships.

Students make do is all part of learning.

We encourage and expect students and adults to take responsibility for their part in wrong doing.

We encourage and expect students and adults to reflect, appreciate and understand the harm they may have caused to others and themselves.

We encourage and expect students and adults to make right the harm they may have caused.

We encourage and expect students and adults to rebuild respectful relationships and focus on returning to learning.

Restorative Practice Outline

What is Restorative Practice?

Restorative Practice is a relational approach to school life grounded in beliefs about equality, dignity, mana, and the potential of all people. The Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) Restorative Practice model focuses on building and maintaining positive, respectful relationships across the school community and offers school staff best-practice tools and techniques to restore relationships when things go wrong. By building and maintaining positive, respectful relationships within a school, staff to staff, staff to student, and student to student, issues are more easily managed.

TAC’s restorative approach starts with collecting the stories from different perspectives (student statements, staff observations, taking an active listening approach), gauging the different stories. It is about growing the good - good behaviors, good attitudes, and good relationships.


There are three types of Restorative Conferences in PB4L Restorative Practice: 

  • Mini Conferences, 

  • Classroom Conferences and 

  • Formal Restorative Conferences. 

Although they differ in informality, numbers participating and the severity of the related incident, all three types require the phases of preparation, participation, and follow-up, and all three use Restorative Scripts and fair process. 

Restorative Conferencing is a process that provides schools with ways to repair harm and restore relationships. It uses the stories of those involved in an incident and the people close to it (e.g. students, staff, and whanau) to:

- explore what has happened and who has been affected
- hold those who have caused harm accountable for their actions
- provide support to those who have been harmed, and others involved.

Anecdotal feedback from secondary schools participating in pilot testing of PB4L Restorative Practice suggests that schools can expect the following positive outcomes:


  • a calmer school environment, with less classroom disruption and more time for teaching

  • an increase in the engagement and learning of students in the classroom

  • growth in relational and problem-solving skills, both for adults and students across the school community

  • improvements in attitudes and relationships across the whole school community

  • a consistent best-practice approach across the whole school community that aligns with the school’s shared values.

The school has moved towards a restorative culture prior to 2013.  Since 2015 significant work has been undertaken to strategically embed into the operating culture of the school.  We have actively worked to shift our language from punitive to restorative in our strategic plan under the Wellbeing for Learning aim: 

School Charter and Strategic Plan

To develop an organisational culture that allows all students, teachers, parents/whanau to operate in a highly inclusive, restorative, and learning focussed community that embraces well being as a key and fundamental priority of the learning process    

In summary

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