GROW – Positive Behaviour Support

As active members of our school and the broader community we want our students to develop strong skills that enable them to participate safely, responsibly, and actively in all their life pursuits.

Learn GROW Together

Our purpose is to create a school culture that promotes positive behaviours. Through a committed effort from a team of staff and support from community members we have developed a consistent whole school approach that is inclusive, explicit and supports all students in achieving academic success, and social and emotional growth.

‘Carl’ the Red-tailed Black Cockatoo is the custodian of our GROW matrix and is always there to help our students to remember, understand, and demonstrate these positive behaviours. He is young, he is cheeky, but he is always quick to learn. He knows that to make good choices he can always seek help from his friends, teachers, and family so that he can be the best version of himself.

Students regularly demonstrate these behaviours across the school, both inside and outside the classroom, and their efforts are recognised through our GROW certificates that are presented at each assembly. These students also have the opportunity to join in an end-of-term reward activity to celebrate their achievements together.

On behalf of the PBS team and school community, we would like to acknowledge the work of parent/s Rowan Zuideveld and Sarah Stirling for their amazing work to bring our ideas to life. Rowan was the creative genius and artist of ‘Carl’ the Red-tailed Cockatoo and our vividly coloured GROW logo. While Sarah was the brains and designer of our suite of GROW certificates and classroom posters. We are very grateful for your time, effort, and skills you have brought to this project.

The WA PBS Framework?

Positive Behaviour Support builds a continuum of supports for staff and students. At each level (or tier) there is an emphasis on outcomes in the form of agreed expectations for student and staff behaviour, data to guide decision making about what practices should be put in place to support student learning and social behaviour. There is equal emphasis on the system supports that will be needed to build fluency with new or revised practices among all teachers and staff within the school. The basic problem solving process of outcomes, data, practices and systems is then applied across the continuum of supports students will need to increase the likelihood of their academic and social behaviour success. Implementing the framework is a process that starts with universal practices for all staff and all students at school and classroom level. There are seven essential components that later form a foundation for more individualized interventions

The WA PBS seven essential components are:

1. Leadership

The PBS leadership team includes the principal and a team that is representative of the school staff. The team leads the school through a process of developing and gaining consensus on beliefs, expectations and procedures along with a written plan. This full staff involvement in the process is crucial.

2. Defining Expected Behaviour

Just as schools rely on the direction provided by their academic curriculums, success with student discipline begins with clear behavioural expectations- a behavioural curriculum. These expectations are a vision of responsible student behaviour and social competence.

3. Teaching Expected Behaviour

Systematic teaching of the expected behaviours must be a routine part of the school day. This teaching uses the same methods as teaching academic skills, through modelling, practice, and feedback.

4. Encouraging Expected Behaviours

Staff provide regular feedback to students about their behavioural progress. Creating a school culture where expected behaviours are the norm requires that staff interact with students four times more frequently when they have engaged in appropriate behaviour than when the student is misbehaving.

5. Essential Classroom Practice

These practices impact academic learning time and ultimately student achievement while ensuring a positive and welcoming learning environment. They represent the facets of classroom teaching under the teacher’s control that have been identified as evidence-based practices to maximise learning for all students while minimising discipline problems.

6. Responding to Misbehaviour

Inappropriate behaviour also requires feedback and should be viewed as a teaching opportunity – a chance to clarify and re-teach expectations. The same calm instructional approach used when students make academic errors should be used to correct behavioural errors. The development of a continuum of responses to misbehaviour provides staff with the tools to effectively respond to and change student misbehaviour.

7. Ongoing Monitoring

The use of data focuses a schools efforts by identifying areas in need of improvement as well as those operating well, and keep the effort alive by providing feedback or knowledge of results that promote consistent implementation and renewal. Data is used to monitor student behaviour and the PBS implementation process.

How is PBS educative?

In the past, school-wide discipline has focused mainly on reacting to specific student misbehaviour by implementing punishment-based strategies including reprimands, loss of privileges, office referrals, suspensions, and expulsions. Research has shown that the implementation of punishment, especially when it is used inconsistently and in the absence of other positive strategies, is ineffective.

PBS views inappropriate behaviour in the same manner that problems in reading or math are viewed…as a skill deficit. When a skill deficit exists, we must teach the appropriate skill. By doing so, a unified and positive school climate forms. This informs students and staff that appropriate behaviour is a priority in our school. The purpose of PBS is to establish a climate in which appropriate behaviour is the norm.

How does PBS provide support for all students?

PBS methods are research-based, proven to significantly reduce the occurrence of problem behaviours in schools and supported by a three-tiered model. The image below illustrates the continuum of support for PBS and its academic counterpart. The three tiered model organises practices and systems along a continuum of increasing intensity and/or complexity. Although the continuum is dynamic and blended the three tiers are generally described as follows:

Tier 3: Intensive practices and systems for students whose behaviours have been documented as not responsive at tiers 1 and 2. Individualised to the specific needs and strengths of the student

Tier 2: Specialised practices and systems for students whose behaviours have been documented as not responsive at tier 1. Generally provided in a standardised manner in small student groupings.

Tier 1: Practices and systems for all students and staff implemented across all school settings.

What are some of the outcomes of PBS?

Students know what is expected of them and choose to do so because they:

  • Know what to do
  • Have the skills to do it
  • See the natural benefits for acting responsibly

Adults and students have more time to:

  • Focus on relationships
  • Focus on classroom instruction

There is an instructional approach to discipline:

  • Instances of problem behaviour are opportunities to learn and practice pro-social behaviour