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For the Whole of Their Life.

Restorative Practice: An Explanation

Posted 22nd July 2018
By Ellie Rolfe

Restorative Practice: An Explanation

At St Philip’s Christian College Cessnock our vision is to provide quality education in a caring, secure and challenging learning environment. Restorative Practices assist in building this type of quality learning environment and is a helpful framework for responding to challenging behaviour through authentic dialogue, coming to an understanding, and making things right.

Restorative Practice:

Restorative Practice involves the development of relationships and is built on the values of respect, taking responsibility for behaviour and repairing any harm caused to others. Restorative Practices focuses on the importance of relationships and seeks to restore these relationships when they have been damaged.

Our aim through a restorative approach is:

  • to help students understand the choices they make and the impact of these choices on others
  • to encourage students to learn from their mistakes, reconcile and resolve problems
  • for teachers to facilitate a repair process using restorative language
  • to maintain healthy relationships within the school community
  • to support the development of a positive learning environment within the classroom as well as a happy and safe playground

The restorative approach is different to a traditional punitive approach and follows a solution focused methodology to problem solving that helps staff and students to resolve everyday problems together. The main differences between a traditional punitive approach and restorative practice can be summarised in the following table.

Punitive responses: focus on punishment

Restorative Responses: focus on accountability, healing and needs

What rule has been broken?

What happened?

Who is to blame?

Who has been affected? How?

What is the punishment going to be?

What needs to be done to put things right?


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The Restorative Questions

Regarding Misbehaviour:

What happened?

What were you thinking of at the time?

What have you thought of since?

Who has been affected by what you have done? In what way?

What do you think you need to do to make things right?

To help those affected:

What did you think when you realized what had happened?

What impact has this incident had on you and others?

What has been the hardest thing for you?

What do you think needs to happen to make things right?

The Process

A referral to the Reflection Room will be given to students when they have demonstrated that they are not ready to learn in the classroom due to poor behaviour and by not cooperating with initial staff intervention. All students will be given the opportunity to correct their behaviour through a process of the 4R’s. A reminder is given, a redirection to the appropriate school value is provided, a relocation within the classroom is implemented and if the behaviour still continues the student will be sent to the reflection room. When the student is sent to the reflection room a restorative conversation will be held between the child and the teacher concerned to discuss the incident. This conversation will include those affected by the incident reaching an agreement on appropriate actions to improve the likelihood of a positive outcome for all involved.

If you would like further information regarding this approach, you can find this at

Aaron Hodges

Well-Being Co-Ordinator & Chaplain

The Life

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