For the child causing harm, it’s important that his or her feelings are recognised, too, so he or she can be supported to avoid feeling alienated and stigmatised.
“The solution starts with empowering students to take control of their own learning and develop essential social and self-management skills,” says James Holmes, Head of Year 3 at Australian International School.
How can the school and parents deal with the situation best?
A supportive school community should promote the well-being of all students and foster a sense of competence and positive self-esteem.
To support the Student Welfare approach, Australian International School uses the philosophy of ‘restorative practice’ to ensure that positive relationships are fostered and appropriate behaviour is identified, recognised and celebrated. When conflict arises, it’s managed in a positive and consistent manner, allowing each child to maintain his or her dignity, realise obligations and work to rebuild the relationship.
Through restorative practice, it focuses on the behaviour of the person causing harm, rather than his or her moral character by allowing all parties to describe what happened and to reflect on what harm it has done. It provides a platform for the victim to say how he or she has been affected and what needs to be done to put things right. Staff monitor the situation and will only intervene if the situation does not improve.
Having the school and parents work in close collaboration is vital – open and honest conversations, and developing mutual respect help. Educating children (and parents) about the strategies they can use to overcome problems will support them throughout their lives and in their relationships with others (e.g., developing empathy).
Australian International School
The only international school in Singapore for students aged 2 months to 18 years that operates on a Southern hemisphere school year, Australian International School (AIS) offers a combination of robust Australian and international curriculum pathways to ensure that students reach their full potential.
From The Finder (Issue 298), May 2019
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