We have had the pleasure of welcoming two groups of staff from a school in Aarhus to England in the last 3 months. They spent some time at TC Central, having a masterclass with me, (Company Director and Lead Trainer Belinda Hopkins) and were then taken to visit restorative schools we have worked with over the years by our other Lead Trainer Caroline Newton. We are grateful to Iffley Academy in Oxford, Childs Hill Primary School in Barnet and the Camden Learning Centre for their hospitality.
The visits were very successful and the vistors came away with lots to think about.
The next step is a visit to the school by me in the first week of April. I shall we working first with the Leadership team encouraging them to think about their own restorative leadership skills, with each other, with their staff and with parents as well as how they engage with students. Their role in modelling restorative values, principles and practice is crucial in settting the expectations for their staff to follow.
I will then be running a 3 -day course for the team who came to England and build on what we did here. By the end of my stay I will meet again with the senior leadership team to agree on next steps.
The school is unusual in having only one Danish native speaker on roll. Every other student is either from a refugee or an immigrant family and so this rich and diverse ethnic mix will create its own challenges to the pioneers with whom I will be working. I know I will be learning a lot from them!
This is not the first Danish school to implement a restorative approach but the school is certainly one of only a handful to want to work in this way – so far!. Who knows where these first tetntaive stpes will lead.