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Each of the following testimonials have come from participants who have attended a three or four day training workshop.
Manunui Primary School
Patricia McGee and Lesley Murrihy, co-Principals at Manunui Primary School, Taumarunui, organised and attended the training in their school and as well, arranged a series of cluster training's in the Taumarunui area that included teachers from early childhood to secondary level.
Restorative Practices has the potential to transform our schools and communities. It puts focus on people and relationships and helps to build a climate of care for all people. While I had always felt that I was restorative, this training gave a base to my philosophy and it strengthened what I aim to do within teaching by deepening my understanding of why and how to operate from a restorative perspective. Because Ron and Kath are working in the field, they have ideas for addressing the challenges we face in the school environment, thus the content is extremely real and practical. I thoroughly enjoy Ron and Kathy’s presentation style. It keeps you engaged through sharing, presentation, thought provoking content and the incorporation of interactive activities. Every school needs access to this training!
It was very exciting for us to discover Restorative Practice - a way of relating and processes for implementing those relationships - that so clearly articulated who we wanted to be as a school. Ron and Kathy have now run three four-day workshops in our community and over that time we have always been impressed with their facilitation and presentation skills. However, it is restorative practice itself that is so powerful, as we learn to give each other voice and separate problems from people.
Melville High School
Clive Hamill, Principal, Melville High School, Hamilton is leading Melville High School through a culture shift where Restorative Philosophy underpins school-wide relationships. He writes:
In preparing students for a dynamic world, a world of growing diversity, conflict and opportunity, schools must help students develop to their capacity and the skills to establish and grow positive relationships. Restorative Practices provides this future-proof perspective. Through its structures, modelling and systematic implementation, Restorative Practices help to build citizens who have a repertoire of experience, skill and understandings that will ensure they are prepared for the opportunities and challenges ahead. Kathy and Ron have facilitated Melville High School's journey along this pathway. Their experience, expertise and willingness to work alongside our staff, students, family and whanau, has established a framework which has implemented effective whole school culture change.
Southland Girls High School
Yvonne Browning, Principal, Southland Girls High School, Invercargill, NZ, negotiated training for her staff to be undertaken in tiers. The first tier, which Yvonne attended, included all those involved in leadership and with pastoral care responsibilities. She writes:
One of the most challenging aspects of teaching in the twenty-first century is creating a learning environment whereby students are engaged and excited by what is happening in the classroom. At SGHS we believe establishing a positive relationship around learning with our students goes a long way to engagement and positive achievement outcomes for students.
In 2006 we investigated the concept of introducing Restorative Practices to further enhance where we were at. While there are other providers, we felt that the training package designed by Ron and Kath Cronin-Lampe was more in line with our thinking.
Their package originated out of their own school experience and has the flexibility of being able to be applied to other school situations. The initial three day training was tailored made for us and was refined each day to ensure it matched our structures and our ethos.
Ron and Kath are passionate practitioners whose enthusiasm for Restorative Practices is highly contagious to all those involved with their Professional Development. Such is the connection they have made with us that we consider them to be part of our wider school community.
University of Waikato
Timoti Harris, Teaching Fellow, School of Maaori and Pacific, University of Waikato, Hamilton, attended a three-day training workshop. He writes:
The presenters, Kathy and Ron, are very special and unique people; their genuine passion for and their belief in the restorative model which they champion is to be saluted. I have attended many professional development courses over the years and yet my time on this restorative course was indeed special. The presenters knew their content, they spoke from experience and were able and willing to take participants on a ride of thoughtful reflection and supportive challenge. The programme offered, touches participants, in that it challenges and encourages people to walk a new path. It is a programme that acknowledges uniqueness and a person's right to be heard. I applaud these two wonderful facilitators and their vision to see and commit to a better way forward. They are inspirational, they have a story to be told and heard. I wish all people in education and wider afield could have time to share their stories and their journey thus far.
Sacred Heart Girl’s College
Chris Muggeridge is an experienced classroom teacher and qualified Guidance Counsellor at Sacred Heart Girl’s College in Hamilton. Chris recently attended a three day training and writes:
I recently participated in a three day Restorative Practice Workshop presented by Ron and Kathy Cronin-Lampe. What an experience! It was undoubtedly one of the most meaningful PD’s I have ever undertaken, in both personal and professional terms.
The effectiveness of the Pilgrim Practices Restorative Practice approach is that it is very firmly underpinned by a Restorative Philosophy, the intention of which is to focus on building healthy relationships throughout the entire school community. This philosophy offers a non-negotiable, one-size-fits-all perspective. What is vitally negotiable, however, is the acknowledgement of respective school cultures, and the tailoring of Restorative Practice to best serve the needs of that local culture.
I have attended a number of PD’s with colleagues from primary, intermediate and secondary schools. The Pilgrim Practices Workshop was the first PD in my experience in which the content was directly relevant to all three sectors. The seamless nature of the material is such that it can be purposefully linked into by any workplace.
Kathy and Ron Cronin-Lampe are exceptional presenters. Their personal as well as professional commitment to Restorative Practices is ever-evident. Their high energy levels and enthusiasm ensure that the participants level of engagement was always constant.
Taumarunui Primary School
Bethwen Crockett, Principal of Taumarunui Primary School, Taumarunui attended a four day cluster training in Taumarunui along with her staff. Bethwen writes:
We have been inspired, challenged and humbled to be courageous in restoring relationships. We are still very much on a journey - carefully picking our way along the path to understanding the principles of restorative practice. Not for the fainthearted - but definitely worth the ride!
Virtues Project Master Facilitator
Sue Ferguson, former RTLB & Counsellor, currently Virtues Project Master Facilitator, organized a four-day training for the Senior Leaders and Deans network at Whakatane High School. Following this Sue also arranged a training day for all the staff at Whakatane High.
The model of restorative practice that Kathy and Ron Cronin Lampe deliver with such excellence and passion connects us to the heart of relationships. Based on solid research from Waikato University and studied at Masters level by these 2 presenters, the training package presents a thorough understanding of what being a “restorative person“ is all about. It is not a “tool” to be used by the head alone but a way of being that encompasses care, compassion and understanding when conflict is around. It gets to the heart of the matter and honours the spirit of every individual and their whanau. The package remembers the way things were done within our First Nations and Indigenous communities. It calls forth the gifts that we all have within us to create a world of understanding and peace.
As part of our involvement in the Haere Whakamua (EHSAS) project, all those involved were invited to workshops being run by Kath and Ron Cronin-Lampe on Restorative Practices. Our Kindergarten, Tarrangower and Paraone St Kindergarten teachers were the first early childhood educators to be a part of developing Restorative Practices.
For us, the concepts of relationships and identifying the positive in children were now not new but we learned new dimensions that could be added to how we worked with children.
Sacred Heart Girl's College
Teresa Cargo writes:
While I initially had some reservations about sitting, listening and talking for three days, thankfully this training had participants fully physically and emotionally involved throughout.
In the context of a special character school, integration of Restorative Philosophy and Practices is a natural fit with school values and ethos. While it will be important to convince staff that discipline is not compromised, I can now see that this approach will enhance student engagement and build community-wide positive relationships. The 'seed has been planted' and I look forward to future opportunities to develop this philosophy and grow restorative practices.