New-Bridge College, located in Loughbrickland, Co Down, Northern Ireland fosters an inclusive school community that promotes harmony and peace education in a post-conflict Northern Ireland, serving a student population of 654 pupils.
In 2012 they embarked on their journey towards relational practice recognizing the power of restorative practice
In 2017, the school further embraced the concept through whole-school training utilizing the When the Adults Change program. This training, complemented by online courses, inspired teachers to incorporate relational approaches into their daily practices. And has had a profound impact on the school’s approach to behaviour.
New-Bridge College’s commitment to relational practice is evident in its revised positive behaviour policy, which now includes Restorative Practice Scripts. These scripts serve as a guide for difficult conversations, promoting understanding, and empathy. The school has also implemented various initiatives to reinforce positive relationships, such as sending Praise Postcards home and making positive phone calls every Friday, emphasizing meaningful recognition over rewards.
Embedding a relational culture within the school community has required patience and a step-by-step approach to develop a foundation for whole-school buy-in
Becoming a partner school with WTAC has been a significant achievement for New-Bridge College. The school aspires to continually strengthen this partnership through daily interactions with both pupils and staff. Their journey of embedding relational practice has reinvigorated the entire school community. As a recognized partner school, their commitment to fostering strong relationships and promoting harmony serves as an inspiration to other institutions.