Schools’ coping plan for conflict

Louise Sell and her son Charley who have taken part in the Restorative Approach for Families course.

Louise Sell and her son Charley who have taken part in the Restorative Approach for Families course. Picture by SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Tense shouting and stressful arguments have been replaced with calm and positive ways of dealing with conflict thanks to two Bowthorpe schools' drive to help parents at home.

Alan and Vicky Boone and their daughter Aliyah who have taken part in the Restorative Approach for F

Alan and Vicky Boone and their daughter Aliyah who have taken part in the Restorative Approach for Families course. Picture by SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

The success of using a restorative approach in the classrooms at St Michael's VA Junior School and Clover Hill VA Infant and Nursery School, led to the schools offering parents the chance to learn this approach, and it has proved a success in helping families to manage conflict.

Helen Newell, headteacher of the two schools, said children had become more reflective and look to find their own solutions to conflict, such as booking time with a pupil peer mediator to discuss playground arguments.

Restorative approaches work by building, maintaining and repairing relationships when harm has been caused, equipping people with problem solving skills.

Norfolk County Council's chairman Brian Hannah presented certificates to parents who have completed the Restorative Approach for Families (RAF) and told them yesterday: 'I really want to see what you are doing progress to other schools in Norfolk.'

Sandy Griffiths, pastoral team leader at the schools, said: 'Our pupils already know how our schools deal with conflict and by extending it in the home gives mums, dads and carers different tools and strategies which they wouldn't have perhaps thought of before.

'What is so satisfying is the parents who have completed the course are now reaching out into their communities as they are going to other families to talk about what they have learnt.

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'By using restorative approaches in the home helps to build communication and gives everyone a voice which can only be seen as a good thing.'

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