Positive Schools

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Fostering School-Wide Learning and Developing

Create a positive school structure. These resources support a holistic approach to improving students’ wellbeing and academic and social achievement by drawing together a range of effective strategies and tools. They are underpinned by practical experience and identify and outline critical components for achieving a positive shift in school culture while keeping student’s dignity and self-esteem intact.

This Positive Schools series presents a holistic approach to improving behaviour and learning in a school, with a clear focus on changing and developing school culture. It draws together a range of effective strategies and tools to improve the wellbeing and the academic and social achievement of children and to raise expectations for behaviour and learning among the staff and school community. The approach outlined here has a solid basis in its development, implementation and proven success within the school setting. It arose out of the needs we faced at our low socioeconomic school as principal (headteacher) and associate principal (deputy) with responsibility for pastoral care and student management. Prior to our positive schools approach, many among the school community and a significant number of children had well-entrenched negative attitudes towards education. Teachers often struggled with behaviour management.

Book 1:

  • Initiating careful and in-depth consultation and planning
  • Engaging all staff in the change process, including any change to teaching practice that is needed
  • Beginning to instil the positive school culture early, with preschoolers and new entrants
  • Building relationships with all children and their families
  • Practising effective, proactive classroom management
  • Teaching social skills
  • Providing many opportunities for physical activity
  • Preventing inappropriate behaviour in the playground

Book 2:

  • Practising good consultation and communication from the very beginnings of culture change
  • Establishing and maintaining behaviour management systems that draw heavily on restorative practice principles
  • Being proactive in engaging and motivating students
  • Involving, inspiring and managing boys
  • Addressing teacher needs – especially in terms of avoiding burnout
  • Creating and maintaining positive relationships with the wider school community
  • Managing behaviour in the playground.

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Positive Schools: Book 1, Positive Schools: Book 2