Hamilton North Primary School
Restorative Practice

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About this Profile

Profile admin:
Kellie Hatherell's picture
Kellie Hatherell

Profile source: An interview on behalf of the NED Foundation.

Interviewee: Kellie Hatherell
Interviewee role:
  • School - Teacher

About the Organisation

Field of Interest: 

Restorative Practice is a school wide approach to student wellbeing. It was first implemented in 2005 and is now embedded in the school culture.

Restorative Practice builds both staff and students' ability to resolve conflict and repair and maintain positive relationships through explicit teaching of our five school values of Respect, Responsibility, Cooperation, Empathy and Integrity.

The success of Restorative Practices at Hamilton North is highly due to the importance we place on building strong relationships between staff, students and their families. This gives us a united approach to creating the best environment for everyone to have a voice, feel safe and be supported.


Restorative Practice was first explored at Hamilton North when it was identified that we lacked a whole school approach to student management and wellbeing. Our students were lacking the ability to take responsibility for their actions and to recognise how their actions affected others around them.

The leadership team at the time researched possible initiatives that might work for us. After attending the training, it didn't take long for the whole team to jump on board.

Brings to the Discussion: 

Since the implementation of Restorative Practices in 2005, Hamilton North Primary School has always ensured all staff are trained and mentored in Restorative Practices. This allows a consistent approach across the school and empowers staff with the knowledge needed to successfully implement RP in their own classrooms and the school yard.

In 2005 all staff undertook training with David Vinegard. Following this, staff commenced implementing restorative approaches as a conflict resolution tool through using the restorative script and conferencing. Three senior staff were the main drivers in getting everyone on the same page to ensure consistency of approach.

Subsequently, five members of staff did the Community Conference training with Marg Thorsborne, developing a more proactive role in building relationships with staff, families and students.

This three layered approach to training helped to paint the whole picture for us as staff on how to best implement the strategies of RP and highlighted how effective use of language increases the likelihood of a positive outcome that meets everyone's needs.

All staff have also undertaken 'Understanding Poverty' training with Nairn Walker. This helped staff to understand how people come from many different places, that relationships are the key and that the use of different language is so important.

Our current staff have either been part of this early training cycle or upskilled when joining our school by attending RP professional development led by Jane Langley and Kristy Elliot, as well as onsite coaching by wellbeing leaders.

More recently, the Berry Street Education Model has been used to overlay and complement Restorative Practice with one third of the staff having been trained. The model celebrates and recognises students demonstrating True North Values and helps to embed these into our everyday practices.

Additional Information: 

Restorative Practices are at the centre of our work at Hamilton North. We aim to build and foster positive relationships among staff, students and their families, creating a positive learning environment for everyone. We recognise that consistency is the key and shared knowledge empowers us as teachers.

Student wellbeing is a constant item on our meeting agenda. This allows staff to touch base with each other and highlight any ongoing concerns which helps us to maintain a consistent approach across the school.

Organisational Structure: 
  • Government School
  • School
Services Offered: 
  • Advocacy
  • Culture change
  • Group based relationship education
  • Leadership development
  • Policy development
  • Program development
  • Reflective practice
  • Restorative Circles
  • Restorative Conferencing
  • Restorative Practice meetings
  • School prep-6
  • Team Building

Organisation Location and Reach

Hamilton, Vic, 3300
Area Covered: 
Local Area

Organisation Internet Presence