Restorative Practice

Could more access to natural outdoor play reduce the need for teachers to use restorative practices in school? Before I answer this question, I must stress that I am very positive about the use of restorative practice in schools!

Anyway, back to answer the question, quite possibly yes! This is for the simple reason that the vast majority of the time, children seek their own resolution and friendship restoration when given freedom and time from adult intervention in their natural outdoor play environment.

I have seen this in our own OWLS after-school club where most of the children are able to learn how to sort out their own conflicts in an appropriate way. The give and take, negotiation, turn taking elements.

Of course, the difficulties arise in supporting children who struggle to learn the social nuances that abound in our everyday interactions with others and who find these human interactions mind-bogglingly complicated! It is these children (so often on the autistic spectrum) that need our help to learn these social skills while they play.