What is Positive Behaviour Learning?
Behaviour for Learning (PBL) (PDF, 259KB) is an evidence based whole school process to
improve learning outcomes for all students.
Positive Behaviour for Learning brings together
the whole-school community to create a safe, positive learning
environment that enables student learning and wellbeing.
When PBL is implemented, teachers and students
have more time to focus on relationships and classroom instruction. Some of the
benefits for students and staff are:
- reduced problem behaviour
- increased time focused on instruction
- improved social-emotional wellbeing
- positive and respectful relationships among students and staff
- support for teachers to teach, model and respond effectively to student need
- a predictable learning environment where staff and students know what is expected to deliver effective practices that can be sustained over time.
PBL can be implemented in any school setting to support
students from pre-school through to Year 12. In fact, many schools in our local
area also use the PBL approach. The PBL framework supports schools to identify
and successfully implement evidenced-based whole-school practices that enhance
learning outcomes for children and young people.
for Learning at Mapleton State School
As a whole school community,
we have been working on developing our Positive
Behaviour for Learning (PBL) system.
Positive Behaviour for Learning brings together the whole-school community to create a safe, positive learning environment that enables student
learning and wellbeing. We began implementing PBL across the school via the ‘Top of the
Range’ system throughout 2018. We sought feedback from parents regarding our
positive behaviour for learning approach during the implementation process and
we are using this feedback to refine our approach in 2019.
What is The Mapleton Way?
Our school rules are known
as ‘The Mapleton Way’ (The 4C’s). They are:
- Care for Self
- Care for Learning
- Care for the Environment
As a school, we focus on The Mapleton Way via discussions in the
classroom, on the playground and communicate with our school community on
parade, in the newsletter and on social media outlets. We support our students
by discussing ways in which we can enact the school rules and relate it to
positive behaviour choices. Teachers
and school staff work together to explicitly explain what this looks, sounds
and feels like to help our students build their understanding.
For example, when focusing
on ‘Care for Others’ we would
What is the ‘The Top of the Range’?
Two of the key aspects for implementing PBL
- developing and using a common vision, language and experience to support PBL implementation
- stating clear expectations of students and staff.
To help us address these aspects, we developed the ‘Top of the
Range’ behaviour matrix which includes consistent language and visual
prompts. The ‘Top of the Range’ visual prompt is on display in every classroom
and helps to reinforce and consistently communicate to students our behavioural
The ‘Top of the Range’ is
based on Five Levelled Tiers: Gold, Silver, Green, Orange and Red.
The Top of the Range
is displayed on a chart in each classroom. It is used as a visual cue to help
students reflect on their behaviour choices. Students who constantly
demonstrate positive behaviour and always demonstrate ‘The Mapleton Way’ are
acknowledged for their consistent and exemplary behaviours and will be placed
on the Green, Silver or Gold sections of the chart. Students who need reminders to make more
positive behaviour choices, are on either orange level or red level and will
develop an understanding that their current choice of behaviour not aligned to
‘The Mapleton Way’. After listening to
feedback from the school community, no names or pictures will be used to represent
students; however, both teachers and students will be aware of who is achieving
which level. This visual reminder is one way that we helping students reflect
on their behaviour choices.
does this “Top of the Range” level system work?
At the beginning of each school term, all students start on
green level, which means they are expected to demonstrate school behaviours
aligned with ‘The Mapleton Way’. At the
end of each school day, all students from Prep to Year 6 will colour their level
on their individual tracking sheet.
does it work in the early years?
The Prep and Year 1 classes will use the traffic light
system (green, red and orange lights) to help our younger students visually
monitor their behaviour. The reason the younger students use the traffic light
system is that developmentally these students require a simplified visual cue
and a shorter time frame for reflection. For example, they benefit from
reflecting at the end of each session rather than the end of the day. The traffic
lights approach was recommended by our behaviour specialist Deb Price, as an
effective prompt for students in the early years and this aligns to the
strategies used in the 1,2,3 Magic workshop.
Over the term, if our students consistently achieve 15
green level behaviour days, they will automatically move up to silver
level. If they then consistently remain
on silver for another 20 days, without moving to the orange or red level, they
will then progress to Gold level.
If students are placed on orange or red behaviour because
they have chosen a behaviour that is not aligned with ‘The Mapleton Way’ school
expectations, they will be on orange or red level until they have completed the
required consequence. A consequence for
orange behaviour may mean they have time out in class or during lunch
break. During this time, they will complete
a reflection sheet, which is designed to support students to think about the
behaviour that they have chosen, and discuss with the teacher positive
behaviour strategies that could be used next time. Students then think about what behaviours
they need to demonstrate so they can return to Green level behaviour. Teachers
focus on helping students to develop positive behaviours and have discussions
with the student and parents about ways they can best solve similar situations
in the future.
Orange level behaviour is normally only given for that day
or may, at times, be given also for the following day, if the consequence has not
yet been followed through. Once the
reflection and consequence is complete, the student starts fresh and is placed
back on green level.
A consequence for red behaviour usually requires a
suspension that is either given internally (student is required to do school
work away from their own class) or is given externally (student is required to
do school work at home). The length of
time for school suspensions is decided by Principal and discussed with parents
based on the severity of the behaviour. The
Principal and staff work with the student and parents to develop positive
strategies to ensure success in the future.
Even when a student demonstrates red level behaviour, once
they have completed their consequence, they start back immediately on green level. Students then focus on choosing positive
school behaviours with support and positive reinforcement provided by staff.
put them back on green?
By starting back on green, students realise that they have
a choice to continue demonstrating positive school behaviours and both the
school and home have faith in them to make positive school behaviour
choices. If a student does not see an
opportunity to achieve, they can become demotivated. Starting fresh after the
consequence has been followed through, allows the child to be motivated to make
What is the end of term Celebration Day?
At the end of each school term, students
will be given the opportunity to participate in a whole school celebration
activity for an hour session. There is a
variety of activities to choose from depending on what behaviour level students
have achieved. As a reward for exemplary behaviour, students who achieve gold
level behaviour can choose to participate in any reward opportunity on offer. Information will be sent home to parents
during week 9 regarding these activities.
do the students say?
Throughout the ‘Top if the Range’ implementation process, we
surveyed all students from Prep to Year 6 and asked for their feedback. From
the data collated, we saw consistent response from all students in all year
levels. Most students expressed that ‘Top of the Range’ helps them and makes
them think about their behaviour and actions. Students felt that the ‘Top of
the Range’ system enabled them to know what is expected from all teachers and
staff. Many students expressed that this system is actively helping them better
their behaviour and work. One student said that it was “actually helps them
work harder and they really like it, it is fun” Students are really enjoying
the system and they have noticed student behaviour has improved.
What else do we do
to acknowledge positive behaviour?
The ‘Top of the Range’ behaviour system is only one
small part of the school’s approach to Positive Behaviour Learning. As part of PBL, Mapleton State School is
committed to meeting the learning and behavioural needs of all students. For this to
occur, the school not only focuses on Whole School approaches to PBL, but also
understands there is a need for targeted and intensive support systems. Staff
praise students on a regular basis. This is done verbally or through ‘Gotchas’ or
even sometimes a postcard is sent home to parents. We encourage students to do ‘Random Acts of
Kindness’ eg. using manners, sharing with others, helping others when necessary
etc. Even the smallest gestures can make
such a positive impact.
What are Gotchas?
Gotchas are used as another way to acknowledge positive
behaviour. If a staff member sees a child exhibiting exemplary behaviours they
give the child a ‘Gotcha’ which is a
slip of paper (like a ticket) which identifies what the child has done well and
‘The Mapleton Way’ aspects that they are exemplifying. This ticket goes in to a
box in the office and may be drawn out on parade. The ‘Gotchas’ are another way to celebrate positive behaviour in our
school. Next term we will modify the
gotcha system to ensure all students are acknowledged for their efforts.
We will continue to share further Positive Behaviour
Learning practices and processes at Mapleton State School with parents and the
community. Our goal is that working together, our school community can continue
to respond positively and support our journey in establishing positive
practices that enhance student learning and potential. If you
would like any further information and need clarification regarding this,
please come and chat with either Julianne or the classroom teachers.