Restorative Values

Our school community prioritises wellbeing and highly values social and emotional teaching and learning alongside the academic. Children must feel happy and safe, in an environment that allows them to thrive. We therefore teach and support our children with strategies that enable then to better manage and understand their emotions appropriately. 
At Ralph Butterfield Primary School, all staff are trained in positive behaviour management strategies.  The behaviour management approaches that we use, are based on the Pivotal Approach and Restorative Practices.  These are generally far more effective than punitive systems, in enabling children to understand what might have gone wrong and the potential impact of their role in a situation. The goal is for our children to have empathy for all involved, to take responsibility, and to have the tools to hopefully prevent a similar situation arising again.

The Pivotal Approach has five pillars of practice which are:

  1. Consistent, calm adult behaviour

  2. Lots of positive praise and reinforcement e.g. verbal / written for the child and good news shared with parents/carers 

  3. Relentless routines and consistency across the age phases and the school

  4. Scripting difficult interventions - This is part of the Restorative Approach as detailed below

  5. Restorative follow up - This is part of the Restorative Approach as detailed below

We have adopted the first three pillars as they are, and the final two pillars dovetail with the Restorative Approach.
We have three, simple overarching rules for the whole school: Be Ready, Be Respectful and Be Safe.  These are used in everyday conversations with the children e.g. ‘Thank you for picking that up; you are showing respect for the environment’.  These three, simple rules link the whole school together and within this, key stages retain age-appropriate charters, agreed by the children, which are rights respecting.

We use Restorative Approaches to help children understand and improve their behaviour, develop resilience and learn strategies for resolving problems.  These help develop a happier school where the focus is on learning and not worrying about conflict. 

We hope the information below will help you understand the Restorative approaches your child may share with you:

  • Children may be part of a Restorative Chat in which the resolution of conflict is dealt with in the first instance.  Everyone involved has a chance to share their perspective on an incident, discuss their feelings and find a positive way forward.

  • If it is felt that a child needs to reflect further on their behaviour, they may spend further time chatting with an adult at break time. 

  • Where a Restorative Chat is not enough, depending on what has happened, a child may be asked to attend a Restorative Circle or Conference. This is a meeting with everyone involved to:

    • Discuss what is happening

    • Look at who has been affected or upset

    • Decide how it can be put right

    • Find a way forward that is fair to everyone

  • As a result of this, if it is found that a child has emotionally or physically harmed another, through verbal or physical actions, the situation will be escalated to a member of the senior leadership team with whom the child will complete a reflection form at lunchtime.  

We work very closely and proactively with our parents/carers as a whole school community. At any stage in the process, a class teacher may choose to contact parent/carers.  If these approaches are not working for a child and there is a persistent behaviour issue, parent/carers would be invited in to school to discuss this with a member of the senior leadership team.

Restorative Approaches are not new; many schools have used this process for over 20 years and it has been proved that it helps schools improve behaviour and supports the development of respect, responsibility and truth telling in their children. 



"Ralph Butterfield Primary truly is a very special school and we feel so lucky that it is our school."