A Lynn school has been praised for using restorative approaches as a means of resolving conflict in the classroom and reducing exclusions.
Brian Hannah, chairman at Norfolk County Council and member champion for restorative approaches, has highlighted St. Edmund’s Community Foundation School, in Kilhams Way, and recommended others follow in their footsteps.
The school has been using this method to deal with problems for the last four years and the new approach has seen the number of absences drop dramatically.
St Edmund’s has gone from 342 absences in 2008-9, to 32 in 2011-12, and is on course for just eight in this school year.
Headteacher Lisa Cook said: “Restorative practices have made a significant difference to our pupils. They are able to express how they feel and resolve conflict independently. These are important life skills.
“Restorative practices have had a significant impact on how the children feel about their learning and their motivation to do well. At St Edmund’s, we believe restorative practice is life-changing.”
The school has been bringing children together in circles and getting them to discuss their behaviour and emotions.
Pupils are asked to put their names on a feeling chart, with opportunities to talk about why they feel like this and if anything that is bothering them at home or school.
The school holds conferences with parents when more serious incidents occur to talk about what has happened.