October 6, 2014: Two Primary Schools in Tallaght, St. Mark’s Junior and St. Mark’s Senior in Springfield, have been launched as ‘Restorative Practice Schools’.
The announcement follows three other Tallaght Primary Schools Scoil Cnoc Mhuire Junior and Senior and Scoil Chaitlín Maude which were launched as ‘Restorative Practice Schools’ earlier this year.
Restorative Practices (RP) involves developing people’s skills to manage conflict and tensions and build relationships. This week’s announcement brings the benefit of this progressive approach to over 70 teachers and school staff and to 1,150 school children in Tallaght.
The Mayor of South Dublin Countyl Fintan Warfield launched two flags to celebrate St. Mark’s Junior and St. Mark’s Senior’s achievements.
“This is an example of leadership coming from schools to benefit to all the community. I also want to commend the Childhood Development Initiative (CDI) for its effective partnership working with the schools.”
The Principal of St. Mark’s Senior National School Richie Walsh described what was involved in becoming an RP school: “All of our teachers have been specifically trained to work with the children to improve their interpersonal skills at dealing with conflict and building better relationships.”
The Principal of St. Mark’s Junior School Ann Ryan said that once trained “the teachers work formally and informally to equip the children to talk about and solve disputes, rather than running to teachers or parents. This increases children’s capacity for empathy.”
Both schools have been working in partnership with the Childhood Development Initiative (CDI) since 2010 to train and support their staff.
The first school to embed a restorative practice approach into its ethos and practice in Tallaght was St. Marks’s Community School in 2012.
CDI CEO Marian Quinn highlighted the benefits that restorative practice will bring to the schools: “Within a school setting, Restorative Practice is a prevention and early intervention approach which strengthens relationships and provides people with skills for the constructive resolution of conflict.
“It is fantastic that CDI can work with Primary Schools and bring these skills to young children. This can only bring long term benefits to the children themselves and to their communities”
Since CDI began providing Restorative Practice training in Tallaght West in 2010, more than 1,000 people in the community have been trained in the approach.
Since 2007 more than 5,000 children and families have been targeted for supports and interventions across the full range of CDI led programmes.
CDI is currently coordinating prevention and early intervention programmes in Tallaght West as part of the Government and Atlantic Philanthropies funded Area Based Childhood programme.
Ronan Cavanagh, Cavanagh Communications: (086) 317 9731.