Our campus is uniquely located in the Abbotsford Convent precinct in Melbourne’s inner east. We are immediately adjacent to the Collingwood Children’s Farm and nestled in a bend of the Yarra River.
“The healthy social life is found, when in the mirror of each human being, the whole community finds its reflection, and when in the community, the virtue of each one is living.” Rudolf Steiner
Geraldine and Racquel (Student welfare, Behaviour Management) met with the group to give an overview of the school’s Restorative Justice approach, which springs from the Steiner quote above, and was also developed with Non-Violent Communication approach in mind, in which staff were given training four years ago.
The model comes into its own in the later years, from around grade 3 upwards. Geraldine gave an overview of the steps in the process.
Then a roleplay of a student being excluded and teased by another was done, with a Logie going to Raquel. Geraldine worked with the two ‘actors’ to have each say what the other was feeling, using she said … There was discussion of the ‘alchemy’ that often happens when the individuals involved step into the other’s shoes and understand the situation from the other’s point of view. This develops and extends empathy and many situations can be improved significantly.
Discussion then continued, and touched on the following: does this work for all the different students, if it doesn’t work, what then, the need for ongoing attention to the process, the difficulty working sometimes with children who are exposed to media and violent images, what is the role of the parents in this process, and how parents can support it.
There was not enough time for discussion, so it was agreed to carry the topic over until next week, and ask whether the teachers could come along again.
Next week will start at 9am with further discussion, and Geraldine has confirmed she will join the parent circle from 9.30am.