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Simplicity in action.

I’m exceedingly proud of Monmia Primary School in Melbourne as one of our Real Schools Partners over the last 3-4 years.

My pride comes partly through their determination to embed Restorative Practices as the fundamental underpinning of their School Culture. In a recent visit, I was able to present them with a variety of genuine, fictitious, but entirely realistic problems to solve. They put their “restorative goggles” on and nailed them.

What I also love about Monmia PS is an equal determination to make things as simple as they can. Take the below pic as an example:

As you can see at the top of the board, the target was to develop “A consistent yard duty practice designed to build relationships and promote positive supervision”.   The temptation is now to write a policy for yard duty, design a convoluted procedure or construct a detailed flowchart.

Or … we could just ask what six behaviours would have us hit the target.  Keeping it to six at most means (including the bottom-right box which is about the “last minute” because, as you know from experience, that’s when almost ALL of the problems on yard duty happen) that we can discuss, work on and reflect on our deployment of these behaviours.  This is chiefly because we can keep a small number of behaviours top of mind, even when some lunchtime bedlam breaks out.

And so we did.  Each staff member placed their initials on the board twice.  We underlined our superpower and circled our kryptonite.  There’s no shame in it – the exercise merely an opportunity to find our who needs to run the 5-10 minute masterclass at the next Staff Meeting on handling that awful last minute of yard duty.  We’re looking at you LT and MA!

In very little time, we set a target, made it behavioural, reflected on our strengths/weaknesses, conducted a skills audit and set up meaningful action on an aspect of schools that causes everyone at least a little grief.

We really do make things harder than they need to be sometimes.  Well played, Monmia PS.