Conflict is inevitable in any community and in this community we use the principles of restorative practice as a tool to resolve conflict. This allows each party to be heard, and encourages them to listen authentically to the other party, before reaching a resolution. The process involves questioning by a facilitator along the following lines:
When challenging behavior:
To help those affected:
In recent years the College has undertaken the journey into School Wide Positive Behaviour Support (SWPBS). Some of our parents may be familiar with SWPBS from their child's primary school, but for others it may be a completely new concept. So what is it?
SWPBS recognises that schools that are successful in managing the behaviour of their students do not run special behaviour programs or take a "zero tolerance" approach to misbehaviour, both of which always fail dismally. Instead, these schools have put a number of strategies into place which together create a positive environment and low behaviour issues.
What are these strategies?
The strategies we have used over the last few years include:
Is it working?
The simple answer is - yes. How can we show this? By collecting data on the behaviour of our students over the last few years which has shown that the number of major behaviour issues which end up being dealt with by the Pastoral Care Team has dropped significantly and has also shown that the number of Red Cards given out over the course of each year has also fallen.
Does that mean our College has no behaviour issues?
Of course not. Our College supports over 700 teenagers every school day and, as you may remember from your school days, sometimes people make mistakes, sometimes people say or do things that make others feel uncomfortable, sometimes people don't get along with each other and sometimes people just have bad days. Sounds a lot like your workplace? Maybe it does, and if it does you will appreciate that if you understand that things will go wrong sometimes then what becomes important is how they are fixed and what is put in place to try to ensure they don't happen again.
Is the journey nearing an end?
Unfortunately not. The journey never ends as every year approximately one-sixth of our school population changes, with Year 12s leaving and Year 7s coming in. So SWPBS is something we continually work on until it becomes a habit.
How can I help?
You can stay informed through regular updates in the newsletter about what our expectations look like in individual times and places around the College. You could also use some of our SWPBS language at home, like "Doing your best", "Being safe" and "Welcoming diversity".
In Year 8 we currently dedicate 2 lessons each fortnight to the explicit teaching and development of Resilience. This is done in a variety of ways, including games that allow students to build better relationships with each other and their teacher, who is a member of the Pastoral Care Team. Students will come to an understanding that resilience is the ability to face difficulties, and in doing so to develop a growth mindset - this means a sense of their own competence and an understanding that difficulties are opportunities for learning.