Thursday, November 22, 2007

Survey Summary

The data collection for the Survey Summary is now complete. This data will now be used with the PBS team as well as whole staff meetings to determine the movement forward for 2008. The beauty of this system is that we are able to celebrate our achievements in a relatively short time (2 years), sustain these whilst planning priorities for the future. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Effective Behaviour Support (EBS) Survey

We are now approaching our third year using the principles of PBS. It is an opportune time to survey staff and use the data gathered to move forward and build upon the work already done. The information gathered has been organised into graphs looking at the areas and categories of:
  • School Wide Systems - Current Status
  • School Wide Systems - Priority for Improvement
  • Non Classroom Setting Systems - Current Status
  • Non Classroom Setting Systems - Priority for Improvement
  • Classroom Systems - Current Status
  • Classroom Systems - Priority for Improvement
  • Individual Student Systems - Current Status

  • Individual Student Systems - Priority for Improvement

What are we doing?

Today I was working with Year 6 on technology projects. The whole task is directed toward making a "package" for grades across the school about Global Warming and sending a very positive message about Earth Hour in 2008. The Teacher-Librarian and I were discussing the engagement of these children in the task and the freedom they have had in deciding themselves how to present their work. It has led to students using lunchtimes voluntarily to continue this work. My point here is, what are we doing that is allowing for Year 6 in week 6 of term 4 to still be so engaged and not displaying inappropriate behaviours that we often see in this age group at this time of the year? Something is succeeding. And I dare say that the behaviour structures in place as well as teacher planning and instruction has something to do with it!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The role of school leaders in developing a caring community

Recently I read an article in the ACEL journal (Volume 13 Number 1). The article was written by Sue Roffey from UWS and looked specifically at research about emotional literacy within schools. It was most interesting in that it gave a perspective of school leadership in behaviour management. It aligns well with the basic principles of Positive Behaviour Support.

Some of the key points taken from the reading include:
• Leadership is about relationships
• Key qualities of effective school leaders:
- Emotional intelligence (personal)
- Emotional intelligence (interpersonal)
- Intellectual abilities
• Leadership is about first and foremost ideas (Sergiovanni – 2006)

The research showed that, when delivering the process of change around emotional literacy, leaders need to take into account that the foundations for positive relationships and a caring community are values, knowledge, skills, and practices. The findings of the report placed importance on the following:
• Values
• Vision
• The processes of change
• Communicating values and expectations
• Staff wellbeing
• Leadership Style
• Power and influence
• Inter and intrapersonal competencies of school leaders
• Being positive
• Sustainability

Interestingly enough Michael Fullan, along with Duignan and Sergiovanni, have written about the ‘moral imperatives’ of school leadership. This is reflective of the discussion I had with colleagues the CEO meeting – The Art of the Possible.

“… having a system where all students learn, the gap between high and low performance becomes greatly reduced and what people learn enable them to be successful citizens and workers in a morally based knowledge society.”

Emotionally literate principals, assistant principals and school leaders, need to make the way people feel about themselves within the educational setting a matter of high priority in order to achieve some much broader social outcomes.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Three Basics

Michael Fullen talks about 3 basics in learning
  1. Literacy
  2. Numeracy
  3. Student Wellbeing

His research shows that student wellbeing means involving students in the learning agenda and in self assessment. As teachers we need to allow students to achieve and then praise them. The creativity of students should be just as important as Literacy. This idea is similar to our own agenda. We have seen a decline in student misbehaviour which we can generalise to be because of:

  1. The implementation of Positive Behaviour Support and
  2. Engaged Learning Environments.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Have Times Really Changed in Classrooms?

I have watched parts of this video a couple of times now and, even though I'm not sure if it is as old as it looks, it certainly puts forward a significant message about behaviour management - or mismanagement - that has occurred in schools in the past.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Development of Action Plan - Part 2

We are now in a position where we are ready to develop our second action plan for PBS/Pastoral Care within the school. We know that there are two areas which need to take priority in 2008:
  1. Bullying: education of community
  2. Values Education: Federal Government Initiative
Both of these will be most easily and efficiently be addressed through the PBS team the pastoral care policy. Both these areas complement the PDHPE syllabus and this is agreed as being the best starting point of implementation. On investigation of the Australian values I think we will find that our school rules sit very nicely with Values Education.

To enable us to develop the next part of our action plan we will need staff to complete the same survey that was completed at the very beginning of our journey with Positive Behaviour Support. This will be necessary for two reasons:
  1. To monitor growth and change in original data collected; and
  2. To develop the next action plan which will take us through the next 18 months - 2 years.

PBS Meeting 26.09.07 - Wrap up ...

This morning at our PBS meeting we discussed the data and looked at possible reasons for the decrease in inappropriate behaviour on the playground. The following was noted:
  • The children are more engaged, particularly in the primary years, through classroom and structured playground activities i.e handball competition.
  • The children are more responsible in accepting their behaviour and are aware when mistakes are made.
  • Teachers are consistent with the warning, pre first bell, and children know that play is coming to an end. They, therefore, move to their lines easily and quickly having had the time to complete their games.
  • The acknowledgement and understanding of school expectations through the rules and the expectations matrix have helped to develop consistency of expectation.
Some issues that needed to be addressed were:
Morning duty: becomes difficult when duty teacher is the only teacher on playground with whole school
  • teachers need to be out on the playground on time
  • students need to be reminded that they are not to leave the basketball court once they have arrived at school
  • parents need to be reminded to leave the playground once they have dropped their child/ren off
  • all ball games need to cease when first bus arrives
  • possibility of having a 5 minute warning bell - more so for teachers - to ensure that the duty teacher is supported by those who are available

Data - Area

As with the other the data, area also demonstrates a decrease in the number of incidents recorded in various areas of the school. We do see here that the incidents are occurring on the basketball court and the infants playground more significantly than other parts of the school. Whilst the back ovals show a high proportion of offences in week 4 it does beg the question - are the children, who live in rural areas, feeling too confined on the basketball court? Let's continue to watch the data and monitor this area.

Data - Action

The most significant immediate action that is occurring is that of 'time out'. It appears to be most successful and the pattern shows that possibly students needed a reminder with time out and this was followed by more appropriate playground behaviour. Very few incidents have had to be referred to the Assistant Principal or the Principal. This is pleasing to note as it confirms the comment previously posted by Mel that students are more accepting of their behaviour and recognise their mistakes.

Data - Behaviour

The behaviour data shows that inappropriate play was significantly recorded with minimal decrease over the term. The 'other' category was also significant. At our meeting this morning the PBS team discussed the possibility of including categories of 'teasing' and 'fighting' as these are what is coming up in the 'other' category when recorded on the clipboard. It was pleasing to note that 'ignoring teacher direction' decreased over time. Is there anything else that you see as a significant observation with behaviour?

This is the data - Time

This data shows the time incidents occurred throughout weeks 1-9. The greatest number of incidents occurred in weeks 1 and 3 throughout the second half of lunch. This decreased significantly as the term progressed. Possibly throughout this time classes would have been out of routine throughout this time due to the preparation and celebration of Grandparents Day.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Data is In!

In God we trust ...
All others must have data!

Well we knew something was happening out on our playgrounds and the data, thanks to mir the data is now in. Some very interesting results.

The following shows the data recorded in weeks 1-9:
  • 55 student names were recorded;
  • 39 students with single 'offences' occured;
  • 13 students were recorded twice;
  • 2 students were recorded three times; and
  • 1 student was recorded four times.

It seems that the most common reason for recording of student names in this time was inappropriate play as well as "other". This is where the categories on the data sheets didn't quite fit.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Time to Continue the Journey ...

At the very beginning of our review of the behaviour management policy within the school we collected valuable information that gave us the direction in which we should be heading. It may be time to return to that survey - conduct another and form the next part of our journey.

There are some things that we need to address as a school these include:
- explicit teaching and learning of bullying with children;
- creating an informed parent body around bullying;
- closely looking at our Personal Development units/programs and ensuring that they align with the local school situation; and
- the continuing application of values education across the school.

What's Happening?

It's only a hunch that comes from the data collected but what is happening on our playgrounds? The data we have collected over the term has steadily decreased. The number of incidents seems to be far fewer than what we've had in the past - and it's week 9!! There's a lot happening around the school. The children are engaged in learning - possibly due to Quality Teaching and the exploration of web2 within teaching and learning; the focus on the Creative Arts Festival; the return to regular classes after the intense preparation of Grandparents Day. But we have been busy before - schools are busy places what is the difference now?

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Mr Mali's School

This short video highlights the relationship that is needed between student and teacher to enable a positive outcome for all. The scene is one that many teachers know. The message that Mr Mali creates here is excellent as it tells us that our job as teachers is to encourage students beyond what they ever believed they could do. He uses the same belief as our principal - the head and the heart. Strong minds and gentle hearts is what we're on about with PBS at HFS. Over the last 2 years we have created a community grounded in three very explicit yet simple rules:

- I respect myself
- I respect others
- I respect the environment.

Perhaps it is rules similar to these that Mr Mali and his students operate out of?

The Journey Begins ...

The Journey for HFS began at the end of 2005 when the Diocese brought Professor Lewis to Australia. After attending a two day conference we began to re-assess our Behaviour Management/Pastoral Care Policy within the school. The school had been working on a level system which was viewed by many staff, parents and, more importantly, students as unfair and punitive. It had served its purpose and it was time for an overhaul of beliefs, practices and understanding. PBS, whilst not a package, seemed to be the most practical way to go.

An action plan was developed with the aim to:
- review current the Behaviour Management Plan of the school;
- build a positive school climate through:
- academic engagement and achievement;
- the active teaching and encouragement of respectful and responsible behaviours
- a continuum of Positive Behaviour Support to all students.

Positive Behaviour Support

Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) is nothing new. It is a compilation of effective practices, interventions and systems. PBS was developed by Tim Lewis Ph.D from the University of Missouri.>

Positive Behaviour Support is an approach for improving the school climate. It provides support for intervention programming for students with high risk behaviour. PBS is comprised of a broad range of systemic and individualised strategies for achieving important social and learning outcomes while preventing problem behaviour with all students. PBS uses data to create direction for behaviour support.

PBS is grounded on four key elements:

- Operationally defined and valued outcomes
- Behavioural and biomedical science
- Research valued practices
- Systems change to both enhance the broad quality with which all students are living/learning and reduce problem behaviours.