At St Thomas More School we implement a whole school philosophy named Restorative Practice. At the heart of RP is a focus on strengthening and repairing relationships in classrooms and across the whole school community. The focus is also about how we prevent problems from occurring in the first place and how our policies support us to do so.
Peer Mediation is a program which is based on the philosophy of Restorative Practices. Peer Mediation aims to reduce incidences of bullying by providing a school environment that is positive, caring, safe and friendly. Peer Mediation teaches students to resolve low-level conflicts using their peers as mediators. Mediation opens up communication channels allowing the disagreeing students to discuss their problems and come to a resolution with the guidance of the mediators.
Trained Peer Mediators help to create a safe atmosphere in the school yard, allowing conflicting students to tell their stories and assist them in working out a solution that is agreed to by all involved. As the solution is not forced, the conflicting students feel empowered to take responsibility for their actions and to deal constructively with their disagreements.
Positive Reinforcement StrategiesPositive reinforcement strategies are used to support and encourage children to demonstrate positive behavioural choices such as those highlighted in our School Norms. In Reception-Year 2 we focus on a strategy known as 'Bucket Fillers'. It is a concept that encourages positive behaviour as children see how very easy and rewarding it is to express kindness, appreciation, and love on a daily basis. Children discover that when they fill someone's bucket, they fill their own. Bucket filling is the moment by moment choice to be kind and caring.
In Years 3-7 teachers focus on Class Dojo when students make positive choices. Class Dojo improves specific student behaviours and engagement by awarding and recording. It captures and generates data on behaviour that teachers can share with parents. By giving students visibility and data on their own behaviour Class Dojo supports a positive classroom culture