St Mary’s School is committed to creating the values of safety, responsibility and respect throughout our learning community.
St Mary’s has a whole school approach to support the wellbeing of all students and uses a wide range of strategies to support the social and emotional learning of students. Student wellbeing and development of life skills is incorporated into all areas of school life. Strategies utilised at
St Mary’s School include:
Mindfulness and Meditation: St Mary’s values the research and benefit of creating time for the student to practice mindfulness and meditation at school. The whole school creates a calm reflective opportunity to develop mindfulness after play, age appropriate in every classroom.
Circle Time: Circle Time is a strategy which allows the teacher to explore issues of concern and social and emotional learning foci. It allows children to explore and address issues which concern them within a safe and comfortable space and provides a structured opportunity for solving problems. Circle Time affords the opportunity for the teacher and class to communicate with each other about issues which promote self-esteem and positive behaviour.
Explicit Social and Emotional Learning lessons incorporating the Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships learning materials: St Mary’s School has chosen to utilise the government endorsed Respectful Relationships learning materials developed for schools to develop social, emotional and positive relationship skills. 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. It also reduces antisocial behaviours including engagement in gender-related violence. The learning materials help to develop students’ Emotional Literacy, Personal Strengths, Positive Coping, Problem Solving, Stress Management, Help Seeking, Gender and Identity and Positive Gender Relationships.
Brain Breaks: Research supports the benefit of engaging in short activities that reenergise the brain and supports learning. Teachers at St Mary’s utilise brain breaks throughout learning sessions.
Whole School Behaviour Matrix: St Mary’s has a Behaviour Matrix which has been constructed by students and utilised to teach and set the expectations at St Mary’s School. A summary of this matrix has also been created. The Behaviour Matrix and Summary are explicitly taught and focussed on within the school. Families are welcomed and encouraged to reinforce the Behaviour Matrix foci at home.
Behaviour Management Flowcharts: St Mary’s School has a consistent approach to behaviour management. There are both Classroom and Playground Behaviour Management Flowcharts which are taught to students and utilised when needed to provide boundaries and consistency with all students.
Restorative Conversations: Restorative conversations are used by St Mary’s staff when speaking to students about behaviour and incidents. Restorative conversations allow the teacher to demonstrate empathy, teach children how to resolve conflict, and most importantly, allow students to have voice. St Mary’s staff have a consistent approach to using restorative conversations, using a script to help students to reflect on what happened, how they felt, how they chose to respond, the impact of choices made, how they could have responded differently and the impact on how they might have felt as a result of making a different choice. The script used by teachers can be found on the school website.
Reflective Meditation: Students who may find benefit in spending time to learn calming and reflective strategies are invited and/or asked to attend reflective meditation which occurs twice a week at lunchtime. Reflective meditation provides a time for students to relax and reflect. This strategy is used as part of our Behaviour Management Flowcharts.
Reflection Sheets: Reflection sheets provide an opportunity for students to reflect on a situation that has occurred that they were involved in that resulted in speaking to a teacher and needing to spend time to reflect due to the nature of the incident. This strategy is used as part of our Behaviour Management Flowcharts.
The purpose of implementing Positive Behaviour Interventions and Supports at St.Mary’s is to:
- Enhance the sense of community in our school
-Promote being respectful, responsible and safe
- Increase positive behaviours and therefore reduce problem behaviours
- Create consistent language, expectations and consequences
- Gather and use data to monitor and direct future actions