Schools need to develop a range of initial responses and approaches to work with students displaying emerging, low-level behaviours of concern. Early responses to behaviours of concern include preventive strategies, instructional strategies, logical consequences, and consultation.

In addition to whole-school prevention strategies, school staff can encourage positive behavioural expectations by incorporating early practices and strategies to support effective teaching and learning practices in school. For example, to maximise the benefits for students with disability, schools must make reasonable adjustments as soon as possible (see Legal Issues Bulletin on Disability Discrimination).

Continue the use of prevention strategies for all students, and include additional supports. Prevention strategies may include, but not limited to, the following.

Classroom management:

  • Communication with parents, and where relevant, the use of communication books.

  • Explicit teaching and modeling of specific skills including behaviour expectations and social skills.

  • Curriculum links, particularly in PDHPE, History and English (literature)

  • Restorative practices and circle time

  • Drama and role play

  • Self-regulation training – brain breaks, yoga, heavy work, weighted blankets

  • Positive Behaviour for Learning Tier 1 School-wide and Classroom systems of support eLearning. This eLearning focuses on flexible, continuously available prevention and early interventions for all students to reduce inappropriate behaviour in all learning spaces before it becomes chronic

  • Disability and additional learning and support including disability standards and supported online learning. This link provides further information about Disability Standards for Education eLearning and resources that explain the Disability Standards and outlines how the responsibility of schools towards students with disability should be met. There is also information about a suite of supported online courses which are available to support classroom teachers and support staff from the departments' primary schools, high schools and special schools. Each of the courses is registered with the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA). The courses address a range of diverse disabilities and additional learning and support needs. Department staff can undertake the courses with a trained tutor, studying in a learning group and by individual online study.

  • PAX Good Behaviour Game (K-6) behaviour management. This resource provides additional information about the PAX Good Behaviour Game. PAX means peace, productivity, health and happiness, and is what the PAX Good Behaviour Game helps create and strengthen in each classroom. PAX GBG consists of proven behavioural strategies used daily by teachers with students. The 10 evidence-based and trauma informed strategies build self-regulation in children, strengthen peer networks, reduce impulsivity and teach prosocial decision-making in children. The ‘peaceful’ classroom environment supports learning, wellbeing, participation and confidence.

  • Got It! (Getting on Track in Time) reduces the frequency and severity of conduct problems in young children by strengthening the abilities of parents/carers, building capabilities of school staff and the capacity of school systems to respond to children with conduct problems and their families.

  • eSafety professional learning covers the latest online safety research, case studies and teaching strategies. It aims to support educators and those who work with young people to integrate online safety into their programs and student wellbeing planning.

  • The SAFEMinds program for schools offers training and resources for primary and secondary schools to help make it easier for them to identify children and young people with early signs of mental health issues and offer them school-based interventions and/or external referrals.

  • Music and drumming programs.
  • Resilience programs, such as Exercise your mood.
  • Peer support, buddy programs and mentoring.
  • Anti-bullying strategies including cyber-bullying and internet safety.
  • Anti-bullying research, advice and resources - This link provides more information about anti-bullying resources, including cyber-bullying.
  • Evidence-based mental health and wellbeing programs for schools - These resources provide more information including a mental health program list, planning template and evidence report.
  • Student Support Officers work in schools to enhance the wellbeing and learning outcomes of students. SSOs support the implementation of the school’s whole-of-school approach to wellbeing, helping students develop social and emotional skills through targeted strengths-based programs and strategies that build resilience, coping skills and positive relationships. They also have a pivotal role in working collaboratively with external and other government agencies in their support of students and their families.
  • School-based wellbeing nurses are an additional support within schools with the specific aim of supporting students’ health and wellbeing needs. They work closely with, and are part of, schools' broader learning and support and wellbeing teams. They also work with local health and social services to support students and their families on a wide range of health and wellbeing issues.
  • Refugee student counselling support team and targeted support - More information is available through this link. The Refugee student counselling team offers psychological expertise to schools to support refugee students and their families. For more information, phone 1300 579 060 or email refugeesupportteam@det.nsw.edu.au.
  • School counselling service - This link provides more information about the school counselling service. School counselling staff support students by providing a psychological counselling, assessment and intervention service.
  • Culturally appropriate programs – school identified within local communities.
  • Support programs aimed at connection to Country and community for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.
  • Referral to school Learning and Support Team and the Learning Support Teacher professional learning.
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