Our Wellbeing and Behaviour Support

Positive Behaviour Support (PBS)

As part of the The Currajong School’s Behaviour Support Policy, we have adopted the Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) framework, to help build a positive learning environment and positive school culture for our students. As an internationally recognised framework, PBS is an evidence-based framework for preventing and responding to student behaviour.

The framework works on the belief that all behaviour is a form of communication. It is a three-tiered framework with strategies that assists the teacher to understand the functions of the behaviour and then respond positively and effectively to the student displaying the behaviour. It is a preventative approach that, when effective, creates a positive social climate through the promotion and reinforcement of expected social behaviours for all students (Bradshaw, Koth, & Leaf, 2009).

The purpose of implementing Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) at The Currajong School is to:

  • Embed a common language and behavioural expectations for the whole school community.
  • To provide a safe and orderly environment to enhance learning.
  • To use evidence-based decision-making using PBS data.
  • To provide a common teaching base in the form of a behavioural matrix.
  • To embed a culture of positive behaviour (as opposed to punishment) through explicit teaching.

Introducing, modelling, and reinforcing positive social behaviour is an important step in a student’s educational experience. Teaching behavioural expectations and rewarding students for following them, is a much more positive approach than waiting for misbehaviour to occur before responding.

Statement of Purpose

At The Currajong School we foster respect, friendship and a sense of community by promoting resilient, responsible and respectful behaviours.

Teaching Positive Behaviours

  • Tell – introduce the expected behaviour and why it is important
  • Show – demonstrate or model the rule
  • Practice – role play expected behaviour in relevant contexts
  • Monitor – Pre correct – Supervise – Provide positive feedback
  • Reteach – practice throughout the day

Research has shown that PBS improves a school’s environment and encourages safe and productive classrooms for students and teachers by:

  • reducing disciplinary incidents
  • improving interpersonal relationships
  • improving attendance rates
  • increasing students’ sense of belonging and safety
  • supporting improved academic outcome

The Currajong School has a culture of three key expectations, these are what we value:

Be Resilient – we are committed to the promotion of behaviours and creating environments that ensures the resilience and wellbeing of every member of the school community.

Be Responsible – we are committed to supporting each other, for being accountable for our actions and encouraging all to achieve independence.

Be Respectful – we are committed to accepting each other as we are and valuing our strengths and differences.

The Behaviour Expectation Matrix translates The Currajong School’s three expectations into expected behaviours. Expected behaviours are explicitly taught in the classrooms and will be introduced each week through video modelling. The matrix is referred to and discussed regularly with the students at The Currajong School.

Mindfulness

At The Currajong School, we introduce all students to the fundamentals of mindfulness and how it can be used to help them regulate their emotions, center their learning, and bring better attention focus to various activities.

Mindfulness is a state of calm reached by learning how to manage your awareness of the present moment while accepting your current state of emotions and bodily sensations. Stress management, clarity of thought, better health are some of the benefits research has found in the practice of mindfulness.

At The Currajong School, we have a whole school approach to practicing mindful behaviors and building the skills of our students. We have found that for our students that by adopting regular and consistent mindfulness practices students have been able to see the following benefits:

  • Better focus and concentration
  • An increased sense of calm
  • Decreased stress and anxiety
  • Improved impulse control
  • Increased self-awareness
  • Developing skilful responses to difficult emotions
  • Increased empathy and understanding of others
  • Development of natural conflict resolution skills

Rights, Responsibilities and Respectful Relationships

Respectful Relationships supports school settings to promote and model respect, positive attitudes and behaviours. At The Currajong School, we have on ongoing commitment to ensure our students and school community are taught all components of the Respectful Relationships program. We have found it teaches our children how to build healthy relationships, resilience and confidence.

Program background

The Royal Commission into Family Violence identified the critical role that schools, and early childhood education have in creating a culture of respect to change the story of family violence for future generations.

In 2016, respectful relationships education became a core component of the Victorian Curriculum from Foundation to year 12 and is being taught in all government and Catholic schools and many independent schools.

Everyone in our community deserves to be respected, valued and treated equally. We know that changes in attitudes and behaviours can be achieved when positive attitudes, behaviours and equality are embedded in our education settings.

Respectful Relationships is about embedding a culture of respect and equality across our entire community, from our classrooms to staffrooms, sporting fields, fetes and social events. This approach leads to positive impacts on student’s academic outcomes, their mental health, classroom behaviour, and relationships between teachers and students. Together, we can lead the way in saying yes to respect and equality and creating genuine and lasting change so that every child has the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

Zones of Regulation

At The Currajong School we use Zones of Regulation as a cognitive behavior approach across our school. Zones of Regulation is designed to help students recognize when they are in different emotional states called “zones”. The Zones are used to help students visually and verbally self-identify how they are functioning in a given moment.

The zones are designed to help the students:

  • Tune into their bodies and recognise when they are in different zones
  • Learn how to self-regulate (i.e. use strategies to change the zone they are in)
  • Increase/introduce children’s emotional vocabulary
  • Introduce skills in reading other people’s expressions/body language
  • Learn about how others see and react to their behaviour
  • Gain some insight into triggers for their behaviour

At The Currajong School our teachers teach students coping and regulation strategies so they can help themselves when they become stressed, anxious or sad. Self-Regulation skills are vital for the social, emotional and academic success of our students.

Student Voice

At The Currajong School we create opportunities for all our students to have input in their learning and the broader school environment. Central to our approach is a focus on creating the conditions to assist our students in developing the behaviors, attitudes and learning environments that facilitate student voice, agency and leadership.

Within our school community we give our students the opportunity to find their own voice in our supportive school environment and assist them to develop confidence and begin to form their own identity.

At The Currajong School we endeavor to empower student voice, agency, and leadership through:

  • Student Voice Fridays – students have input in their daily learning plan
  • All student independent learning plans (ILP’s) contain student centered improvement goals. These goals are reviewed regularly with student and parent/guardian input
  • Students plan and implement end of term celebrations for the whole school community
  • Year six students plan their graduation activities
  • Students plan playground activities at break times
  • Teachers explicitly include student voice agency and leadership in their planning documents
  • Our students have agency and autonomy of the ‘Elective Clubs’ that run each term.

From 2022 we will introduce:

  • School Captains and student leaders are elected each year
  • School Captains and leaders meet with the Principal or Assistant Principal to plan whole school student centered activities
  • Student Representative Council

Allied Health at The Currajong School

The Allied Health Team is a multidisciplinary team that provides our school-based therapy services that supports students, as well as family and teacher professional learning.

The team consists of four passionate staff:

  • Speech Pathologist,
  • Occupational Therapist,
  • Psychologist, and
  • Music Therapist.

They are dedicated to providing the highest quality school-based intervention services to our students to support their emotional, social, behavioural needs so they can access personal goals and achievements with their learning.

The team brings years of experience working in the child’s context of learning to support and enhance academic skills, build self-esteem, persistence, resilience, and social skills. The individualised and school specific focus of our practical, rigorous, and proven intervention approaches allows for action-based learning which brings about sustainable change that supports our teachers and support staff to continue and apply in their teaching and learning every day.

School Psychologist

Our School psychologist is the leading mental health expert in our school, and can assist students, families, and staff to support a young person to get the best out of life at The Currajong School.

Psychologists are experts in human behaviour. They have studied the brain, memory, learning, human development, and the processes that determine how people think, feel, behave and react.

The School Psychologist provides professional expertise and support to assist students in achieving positive educational, developmental, and learning outcomes through the delivery of counselling services.

In collaboration with relevant staff members, our School Psychologist recommends, supports and implements programs for students that have a focus on preventative and early intervention strategies; that are responsive to identified personal, social, emotional, and educational needs; and aim to foster resilience and personal, social and emotional skills development.

w

Speech Pathology

The Speech Pathologist at our school supports the development of students’ communication skills to enable them to access the school curriculum to the best of their ability. Speech pathology is run primarily in the classrooms in collaboration with the teacher and assistant.

  • Assessments
  • AAC (alternative and augmentative communication systems, such as; iPad’s , communication books or picture systems, as required
  • Use school visual communication systems across the school
  • Pragmatics (social use of language)
  • Language (understanding and use)
  • Articulation (speech clarity)
  • Fluency (stuttering)
  • Play skills through the Play Program (lower primary)

The Speech Pathologist at our school supports the development of students’ communication skills to enable them to access the school curriculum to the best of their ability. Speech pathology is run primarily in the classrooms in collaboration with the teacher and assistant.

  • Assessments
  • AAC (alternative and augmentative communication systems, such as; iPad’s , communication books or picture systems, as required
  • Use school visual communication systems across the school
  • Pragmatics (social use of language)
  • Language (understanding and use)
  • Articulation (speech clarity)
  • Fluency (stuttering)
  • Play skills through the Play Program (lower primary)
w

Speech Pathology

A

Occupational Therapy

The overall goal of Occupational Therapy is to maximise a student’s ability and potential to independently participate in a variety of activities across the school day. This may be through improving the child’s skills and/or adapting the environment to increase independence. Activities may be academic, such as writing skills as well as non-academic, including the development of social skills, sensory processing, emotional regulation, and self-care skills.

Our Occupational Therapist works in classrooms and small groups. They also support teachers, assistants, and students in the following areas:

  • Assessments
  • Developing fine motor skills
  • Developing gross motor skills
  • Incorporating sensory processing skills into daily school life and promoting regulation skills
  • Increasing independence with self-care skills
  • Adapting school programs to increase independence and participation
  • Prescription of adaptive equipment
  • Play skills through the Play Program (lower primary)
  • Supports for regulating behaviours and de-escalation strategies

Music Therapy

At The Currajong School, Music Therapy focuses on meeting therapeutic aims, which distinguishes it from musical entertainment or music education.

Music Therapy is a professional allied health discipline that uses music as a tool to address a range of emotional, physical, social and cognitive needs. It draws on the power of music to arouse emotions that can be used to motivate and engage students towards achievement of their therapeutic goals.

Music Therapy assists our students in strengthening abilities and developing skills so they can be transferred to other areas of a student’s life.

The goals of Music Therapy can include using music to facilitate communication and social skills, develop emotional expression, build self-confidence, increase awareness, develop motor skills, provide opportunities for stimulation, and improve quality of life.

These goals are achieved through activities like: singing and vocal activities, use of music technology, music listening, educational/instructional songs, song writing, improvisation, instrumental playing, movement to music, recording.

The Music Therapist works across all classes both group and individual sessions and collaborates with other allied health members and teaching staff to provide a consistent and holistic approach to learning across our school.

At The Currajong School, Music Therapy focuses on meeting therapeutic aims, which distinguishes it from musical entertainment or music education.

Music Therapy is a professional allied health discipline that uses music as a tool to address a range of emotional, physical, social and cognitive needs. It draws on the power of music to arouse emotions that can be used to motivate and engage students towards achievement of their therapeutic goals.

Music Therapy assists our students in strengthening abilities and developing skills so they can be transferred to other areas of a student’s life.

The goals of Music Therapy can include using music to facilitate communication and social skills, develop emotional expression, build self-confidence, increase awareness, develop motor skills, provide opportunities for stimulation, and improve quality of life.

These goals are achieved through activities like: singing and vocal activities, use of music technology, music listening, educational/instructional songs, song writing, improvisation, instrumental playing, movement to music, recording.

The Music Therapist works across all classes both group and individual sessions and collaborates with other allied health members and teaching staff to provide a consistent and holistic approach to learning across our school.

Music Therapy

Allied Health Programs at The Currajong School

Currajong Play Program

The Currajong Play Program focuses on imaginative play skills with the aim to develop the spontaneous pretend play abilities of our students. The program is adapted from Karen Stagnitti’s ‘Learn to play’ program and is led by the students but supported by allied health, teachers and teaching assistants.

Play is an important part of our students’ daily lives and an integral part of their overall development. Through engaging in imaginative play our students are developing a range of different skills including communication, cognitive, emotional integration, fine motor skills and increasing opportunities for social interaction. The play skills that are the focus of the Currajong Play Program are: ability to spontaneously self-initiate play, sequencing play actions logically, using objects as something else (object substitution or symbols in play), engaging with a doll or teddy character outside of themselves, integrating their play so a clear play script is evident, role play and socially interaction using play. As well as developing many different skills, the play program provides a fun and safe environment for our students to play and learn together.

    PMP- Lower primary (Perceptual Motor Program) & Currajong Warrior (Upper primary)

    This program aims to develop students’ perceptions and understandings of their world through movement and gross motor experiences. It develops the underlying skills necessary to support whole body (gross motor) skills, such as providing activities to improve balance and coordination, strength and endurance, attention and alertness (sensory processing), body awareness, movement and motor planning. The program gives students a variety of experiences in seeing, hearing, touching, processing, making perceptual judgements and reacting through carefully sequenced activities whilst having fun with their peers.

    This program aims to develop students’ perceptions and understandings of their world through movement and gross motor experiences. It develops the underlying skills necessary to support whole body (gross motor) skills, such as providing activities to improve balance and coordination, strength and endurance, attention and alertness (sensory processing), body awareness, movement and motor planning. The program gives students a variety of experiences in seeing, hearing, touching, processing, making perceptual judgements and reacting through carefully sequenced activities whilst having fun with their peers.

    PMP- Lower primary (Perceptual Motor Program) & Currajong Warrior (Upper primary)

    ‘We Thinkers Program’

    The We Thinkers! series helps children build foundational social competencies and essential life skills through stories, lessons, and play activities. The material is designed to be used with both typically developing children and those with social learning challenges.

      Team Around the Child ‘Case Management’

      At The Currajong School, the ‘Team Around the Child’ (TAC) approach ensures that our young people have access to cohesive services and all the relevant staff, allied health and leaders concerned with an individual student meet regularly. This ensures the services delivered are integrated, prioritised, coherent and achieve their intended outcomes.

      Each week based on staff referrals, school wide data and requests from parents, the team review the young person’s provision through the ‘Internal Team Around the Child’ meeting by coming together to evaluate progress, plan next steps and evidence change in emotional wellbeing, mental health, behaviour and learning.

      Our Team Around the Child process provides a structured framework within a Multi-Tiered System of Support for a whole school approach to support our students.

      Through this process we aim to:

      • Provide effective and enhanced support to students who are vulnerable, have complex needs or who have experienced disengagement from their learning
      • Reduce duplication and fragmentation in support to vulnerable children and students with complex needs
      • Enable an effective and consistent model of practice within the school that aligns with our positive behaviour support framework
      • Promote a lead professional role to provide a seamless service to our students and their families with complex needs through the ages and stages of learning and development

      The Currajong School key principles of the team around the child:

      • The child and family are at the centre
      • Learners experience a coordinated and seamless service
      • Promotes positive engagement
      • Outcomes focused
      • A collaborative and collective team effort within a school-wide framework