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The secret to creating a calm classroom without conflict

January 18, 2010

this approach is embedded in the school at every level, if it gets into
the everyday language and people know they will always have a chance to
speak, calm down and listen, then you start to get a fundamental change
in the culture of the school,” says Roger Stanley, the former assistant
head of Ratton School, a secondary school for 11- to 16-year-olds
specialising in the performing arts, on the outskirts of Eastbourne.

approach, known as restorative justice, is used to help rehabilitate
criminals by allowing victims to tell offenders about the impact of
their crimes and giving offenders a chance to understand what they’ve
done and make amends. It is the philosophy behind South Africa’s Truth
and Reconciliation Commission and it is now spreading into workplaces,
communities, hospitals – and schools.

East Sussex, a secondary school, primary school and special school have
been introducing it since 2007 under a pilot programme of training and
support, run by the CfBT Education Trust, an educational charity. At
Ratton School, as in many secondary schools, behaviour issues tend to
revolve around low-level bullying, arguments between friends, and
flare-ups between pupils and staff.

might, for example, have a situation where a student has told a member
of staff to eff off. In the past, the follow-up would have been
automatic punishment and exclusion,” says Roger Stanley, who led the
introduction of restorative justice at the school before his recent

under this system there is a chance for the situation to be gone
through and for the student involved to be asked: what were you
thinking? What were you feeling? You can get the realisation of what
each one is doing to the other and the way their behaviour is having
the effect it is having. Maybe the kid will come to feel that the
teacher is not so down on them after all. And it also offers some way

Read the whole article.


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