Behaviour & Safety
Teaching & Modelling the Positive
Casino Christian School has joined forces in 2023, with Association of Independent Schools NSW, in a commitment to building a Positive Behaviour Intervention and Support Program that is tailormade to the needs of our school, students and families. This was born out of factors like low student engagement, increased learning difficulties, and the escalating prevalence of mental health concerns which all contribute to the increased behaviour incidents that all schools seem to be experiencing. Working as a community, how do we engage our students and support them to make wise and healthy choices? How do we teach them that their behaviours don’t define them or their worth? How can we encourage and foster students who understand and aspire to the expectations we seek to teach them?
When we use the term discipline, people often think of very negative connotations; however, the word itself means “training to act in accordance with rules” and “instruction and exercises designed to teach proper conduct or actions.” That is exactly how we want to teach our students what God, the law and society expect and how we can care for each other in our homes, schools and the wider community.
Also, we often only speak about “consequences” in educational settings when considering responses to negative behaviour, but the philosophy around positive behaviour support encourages schools to work in partnership and to clearly explain and teach the “right way” or expected behaviour. It focuses on being pre-emptive, positive, and proactive rather than reactive, punitive, and exclusionary. It challenges us to think about what we should do rather than what we shouldn’t do. It is about changing our mindsets from “Don’t” to “Do”. An example might be, “We show respect by listening to others and looking at them,” rather than, “Don’t talk while I’m talking.” It educates students explicitly about what is the desired outcome or expectation.
While the focus is on acknowledging and positively affirming the preferred behaviour, it is important to recognise that these skills, behaviours, and attitudes must be explicitly taught, retaught, modelled, noticed, and acknowledged. The evidence-based scientific research shows that this approach is successful for around 85% – 90% of students. However, it is essential to recognise that occurrences of negative behaviour will continue, with 10 – 15% of students needing firmer boundaries, consequences, and individualised support. Let me reassure you that those incidents will always have firm and fair consequences for which the student must take ownership of and make amends. It also focuses on using negative incidents as a learning opportunity to change, educate and transform the behaviour and character of our students.
The first step towards building a Positive Behaviour Program at our school requires building a values framework that underpins the desired responses or student behaviour. We invite you to take this journey with us and we plan to update you regularly as we develop a Whole School Program through this process.
As always, we seek to work in partnership with parents and their families to teach, equip and develop our students to live lives honouring God as per our school’s vision. We desire for our students to know and be known by Christ and find their true and priceless value and worth in Him. Our staff feel privileged to be part of this process and remain committed to providing our students with the best “equipping” possible!
Grow in grace and knowledge.
2 Peter 3:18