We believe that the emotional and physical wellbeing of our students is at the core of their development as resilient, respectful and happy learners. We understand that students reach their full potential when they are happy, healthy and safe, and that a positive school culture helps to engage students and support them in their learning. Our whole school approach to student wellbeing is based on building respectful and positive relationships within our community. We provide an educational environment that ensures that all students are valued and cared for, feel they are part of the school, and can engage effectively in their learning and experience success.
School Wide Positive Behaviour System
Ivanhoe East Primary School has adopted a SWPBS framework. School Wide Positive Behaviour Support (SWPBS) is an evidence-based framework for Victorian government schools for preventing and responding to student behaviour. Instead of using many different behaviour management strategies, a consistent system of expectations for all students is implemented.
It is a proactive approach and focuses on teaching all students agreed expected behaviours and pro-social skills rather than reacting to inappropriate behaviour. This in turn creates a safer and more effective school environment. It involves the establishment of a continuum of behaviour support that considers all students and emphasises prevention, rather than just reacting to inappropriate behaviour. In addition, a small number of students will require highly individualised and comprehensive interventions.
SWPBS uses a tiered intervention framework:
Tier 3 –Targeted Support - 3% to 5% of students, specialised, individualised systems for students with high-risk behaviour, provided in addition to primary and secondary prevention.
Tier 2 –Early Intervention - 7% to 10% of students, additional specialised group systems for students with at-risk behaviour.
Tier 1 – Positive Mental Health Promotion - 85% to 90% of students, universal, school wide, supports for all students, staff and settings, preventative.
Positive Behaviour Management
Ivanhoe East Primary School practices and believes in using positive behaviour management and preventative measures to manage student behaviour and support choices. Research has shown that the implementation of punishment, especially when it is used inconsistently and in the absence of other positive strategies is ineffective. Introducing, modelling and reinforcing positive social behaviour is an important aspect of a student’s educational experience. Teaching behavioural expectations and rewarding students for following them is a much more positive approach than waiting for misbehaviour to occur before responding.
The purpose of SWPBS is to establish a climate in which appropriate behaviour is the norm and where students are part of a safe environment where they can focus on their learning. We firmly believe that discipline techniques are most effective when children feel cared for and know that their needs will be met. Our positive behaviour management hierarchy is as follows:
- Individual teacher rewards acknowledge the everyday things students do that contribute to a positive classroom culture. This is individual to every teacher and their year level, for example positive praise, stickers, quality time, extra choices etc.
- Student of the week acknowledges students for individual achievements and for the special qualities they bring to their classroom culture.
- Green Cards acknowledge student demonstrating the school values. Students who earn a Green Card go into a Weekly raffle.
Ivanhoe East Primary School has four core values, which reflect our shared beliefs, understandings and view of our desired future and underpin how we operate.
Curiosity is always wanting to learn new things.
- We ask questions to further our knowledge.
Resilience is persisting through challenging situations.
- We see challenges as opportunities to learn and grow.
Respect is valuing everyone’s rights, beliefs and differences.
- We treat everyone equally.
Friendship is being inclusive and supportive of others.
- We are kind, honest and trustworthy.
Respectful Relationships is an evidence-based whole school approach to promoting positive relationships, social and emotional skills and gender equity within our school community.
It has been developed to tackle family violence through education and was a recommendation of the Royal Commission into Family Violence. Evidence is clear that efforts to promote social and emotional skills and positive gender norms in children and young people has been shown to improve health related outcomes and subjective wellbeing.
Ivanhoe East Primary school utilize the learning materials for each year level for students to develop their social and emotional understandings and skills. The Respectful Relationships learning materials have been produced to align with the Victorian Curriculum.
Zones of Regulation
Ivanhoe East Primary School practices and utilizes the Zones of Regulation to supports children to manage difficult emotions, known as ‘self-regulation’. We want to teach all of our children good coping and regulation strategies so they can help themselves when they experience anxiety and stress. In the classroom, sometimes children panic when faced with a tricky learning problem or challenge. By teaching them how to cope with these feelings might make them better at tackling learning challenges and build better resilience so they don’t give up so easily when faced with difficulty.
We aim to help children to:
- Recognise when they are in the different Zones and learn how to change or stay in the Zone they are in.
- Increase their emotional vocabulary so they can explain how they are feeling.
- Recognise when other people are in different Zones, thus developing better empathy.
- Develop an insight into what might make them move into the different Zones.
- Understand that emotions, sensory experiences such as lack of sleep or hunger and their environment might influence which Zone they are in.
- Develop problem-solving skills and resilience.
- Identify a range of calming and alerting strategies that support them (known as their personal ‘toolkit’.
Smiling Minds is an evidence-based approach to support student mental health and wellbeing. Mindfulness improves attention, working memory, cognitive flexibility, reasoning, planning, goal directed behaviour and self-regulation, essential skills when it comes to learning new information. Mindfulness also reduces emotional reactivity, behavioural issues, anxiety, and depression. This means students have fewer potential obstacles standing in the way of their learning.
Ivanhoe East Primary School is using Smiling Minds to improve student, teacher and community wellbeing, by
- Promoting and modelling mindfulness during Tuning In time
- Utilizing the mindful mindsets
- Teaching social and emotional learning, in conjunction with RRRR
Daily Model of Practice
Every day at Ivanhoe East Primary School, there are key wellbeing touchpoints that prioritize student’s social and emotional health and capacity to concentrate in their learning.
Community circle is time for students to come together in the morning and at the end of the day to build a strong, inclusive class community. The expectations during community circle may vary from class to class, but the non-negotiables are:
- Appreciation of others (i.e. no put-downs)
- Listen attentively
- Respect everyone
- Right to pass (students can pass when it's their turn)
Discussions can vary according to the classroom needs and teacher discretion. They could focus on:
- Reflection on the day or reflection on behaviour
- Sharing information about ourselves
- Discussing issues from the class or in the world
- Posing questions to one another
‘Tuning in’ is time after recess or lunch, and any other time students need, to settle into learning. It may include calming, mindfulness, stretching or listening activities for preferably 2-3 minutes. This support student’s ability to concentrate in their learning.
At Ivanhoe East Primary School, we acknowledge our responsibility to provide an educational environment that ensures that all students are valued and cared for, feel they are part of the school, and can engage effectively in their learning and experience success.
Our school shared expectations include:
- Inclusive teaching practices
- Rights and responsibilities and classroom agreements clearly displayed in each classroom and referred to
- Positive behaviour management
- Daily community circle
- Weekly social and emotional teaching/learning
- Use and reference to the school’s values
- Use and reference to the Behaviour Flow Chart
- Parent/carer partnerships and liaison
- Provision of appropriate student service