Working with the Association of Muslim Schools
RJ Working has been approached and commissioned by The Association of Muslim Schools (AMS) to support their development work. As a first step they asked for a 1-day workshop in Restorative Practice on 1st November 2021.
When were heard that 3 schools would be attending, we began preparing for a small intimate workshop, but it then transpired that the entire staff teams of those 3 schools were planning to attend! RJ Working training usually limits group numbers to enable depth of participation from everyone, so this was going to be a challenge!!
On the day, 95 staff from across 8 Muslim Schools arrived on zoom, and compounding the challenges, many could not access cameras or microphones as they were using school computers. But despite all this we had an amazingly successful day together, making creative use of the chat function and breakout rooms, with brilliant contributions and thoughtful engagement from participants.
Feedback from 67 participants showed 100% of them felt the training was relevant or highly relevant for their work in Muslim Schools. 66 of the 67 said the trainers were engaging and could answer all their questions. Here’s some of what they said:
“Exceptional, Inspiring, Motivating”
“Brilliant, enlightening and thought-provoking”
“Eye-opening, Intuitive, Inspirational”
“Mind opener! Highly recommend to more schools”
“Thank you so much, I have taken a lot from this course to practice at school and at home too”
Building on that success, AMS staff road-tested the suitability of our 3-day Restorative Practice training course for Muslim Schools. Their positive feedback included the high value of the teamwork and spirit of shared responsibility generated by the learning journey of the group of participants.
In exploration of our work together, we have learnt that there is a natural fit between Restorative Practice and Islamic values such as respect and responsibility. The Restorative model supports school staff teams to translate the mission and values of their school into all the everyday ways that students relate to each other and to staff within the school community.
Restorative Practice does not work in isolation but connects with many aspects of school life, especially PHSE and citizenship, it also helps to prepare students for future employment. All students need to develop the social capabilities and emotional capabilities for dealing well with conflict. These capabilities include the valuing of different perspectives and experiences, even before conflict arises, and the skills for building relationships based on shared principles and values, plus problem-solving and communication skills. We are excited about continuing this journey with AMS and the shared learning that emerges.