Date
17 July 2024

Restore

Give everyone time and space to settle and recover after a challenging situation.

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Give time to settle

Give time to settle

Staff, students and peers need time and space to settle before they can be logical and reflective. Give everyone the time and space they need. Monitor staff and student wellbeing.

Give students time to calm down after an incident before discussing what happened and what next. Some students may need much more time to settle.

Be aware that children with well developed expressive language will be more capable of retelling an event than a child with speech, language and communication needs.

  • Expressive language is the use of words, sentences, gestures, and writing to convey meaning and messages to others.
  • Resolving a situation through conversation can be very challenging for a child with speech, language and communication needs.

Source: Kids Sense (opens in a new tab/window)

Help everyone to settle

Help everyone to settle

Ensure everyone has access to what they need to recover.

For example:

  • Offer a drink or cuppa, a walk, food or music.
  • Personalised or class calming activities box. 
  • When possible, have someone with a solid connection with the ākonga nearby.
  • Offer opportunities to connect with trusted peers, teachers, colleagues and leaders.
  • Use karakia, waiata or support from kaumātua.
  • Reinforce calming strategies.
  • Refer to any support plans. For example look at prior agreements with whānau about strategies and actions.

Connect

Connect

Connect with ākonga and whānau using a relational approach grounded in beliefs about equality, dignity, mana and the potential of all people. Share information about the situation and decide how you might work together on this.

Plan conversations and meetings that focus on building and maintaining positive relationships across the school community.

  • The purpose of the meeting is not to apportion blame or agree on consequences.
  • A strengths-based approach means focussing on what needs to change to help ākonga and whānau to thrive, with an emphasis on relationships, teaching and learning practices and environments. 

Participation involves engagement with the people needed to help ākonga to thrive.

  • This may or may not include ākonga themselves.
  • Including ākonga means that they can be active agents in their own development and growth, however there are times when including ākonga can lead to more distress.

Plan conversations and meetings

Plan conversations and meetings

Consider planning conversation and meetings around three phases: preparation, participation, and follow-up.

Participation involves engaging with the people needed to help ākonga to thrive. It usually involves ākonga, staff, whānau and, if appropriate, others who provide support or expertise.

Preparation

  • Have we invited the people we need, for example whānau and other support people?
  • How do we make the meeting welcoming and supportive for everyone?
  • Is everyone ready to talk? 
  • Does the format honour all contributions and seek all viewpoints?
  • Is there a clear process to follow, for example conversation prompts?
  • Where is the appropriate place to talk?

Participation

Conversation or individual reflection prompts could include:

  • What happened and how has it affected everyone?
  • How can we help ākonga to thrive?
  • What can each of us do to meet ākonga needs?
  • What needs to happen or change?
  • How can we help everyone involved to feel safe and calm?
  • What additional help is needed?
  • What are our next steps?

Follow-up

Provides the opportunity to touch base with ākonga, whānau and staff to ensure that every part of the ngahere is thriving.

Affirm the efforts made by ākonga, whānau and staff and consider next steps.

  • What has worked well?
  • What do you need more support with?

Re-engage in daily activities

Re-engage in daily activities

Gently and discreetly support ākonga to re-engage with classroom activities

For example:

  • Use your knowledge of ākonga strengths to decide on how best to re-engage ākonga.
  • Suggest things you know they’ll enjoy and can easily do, for example, offer an activity box or folder with the student's favourite calming activities.
  • Reduce learning demands, offering activities the student can confidently and easily achieve.
  • Facilitate activities and include peers, for example, pair ākonga with friends or class leaders, introduce them into small, trusted groups or offer tuakana-teina connections where an older or more expert tuakana supports a younger or less expert teina learner.

Offer staff reflection time

Offer staff reflection time

Debrief with school leaders or colleagues. A debrief can follow any format and may just be having a cuppa with a peer. Identify your own needs as well as those of others.

For example

  • Reflect on how staff feel.
  • Identify what help or professional development is needed.
  • Discuss what staff have come to understand about their response.
  • Identify the actions that were taken and what worked and didn’t.
  • Reflect on what staff could or would do differently next time.
  • Plan and reherse identified strategies.

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Respond in challenging situations”:

Return to the guide “Behaviour and learning”

Guide to Index of the guide: Behaviour and learning

Strategies for action:

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