PAX Good Behaviour Game

NSW Department of Education is bringing the internationally-recognised, USA-developed PAX Good Behaviour Game (PAX GBG) to our students, families and school communities.


PAX GBG consists of proven behavioural and instructional strategies used daily by teachers and students to build self-regulation in children, strengthen peer networks, reduce impulsivity and teach prosocial decision-making in children.

PAX GBG teaches students to “flip on” their internal focus for any learning. It teaches students how to work toward valued goals, and how to cooperate with each other to reach those goals.

Students learn how to self-regulate during both learning and fun, and delay gratification for a bigger goal.

PAX GBG has been found to be an effective way to reduce multiple mental health symptoms across a range of disorders including conduct disorder, ADHD, depression and anxiety. Use with younger students has been shown to extend benefits beyond the classroom and offer life-long protective effects for students’ mental health.

Schools can register their interest to use PAX GBG in their classroom, at any time.

This model shows the five key outcomes derived by using the 10 PAX GBG strategies,  being self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision making, social awareness, and relationship skills
Image: The 10 strategies that form the PAX Good Behaviour Game combine to develop and strengthen social emotional competencies

Why would a school want the Game?

PAX GBG develops students who can be fully attentive and engaged in learning so teachers can use their time and resources to teach. Schools using PAX GBG report:

  • Increased time for teaching and learning
  • Increased attention to and completion of academic tasks
  • Engaged learners
  • Improved learning outcomes including reading scores
  • Reduction in off-task and disruptive behaviours.
You can read the Sydney Morning Herald's article and listen to an interview with ABC Radio on how PAX GBG is used in NSW schools.

Image: Snapshot of Good Behaviour Game benefits
Initially doubtful about a 'game' the teachers quickly embraced the PAX GBG approach to manage and encourage good behaviour in the classroom. The tool has been effective in preventing disruptive activity and teaches students self-regulation, self-control and self-management in working with others

How does it work?

PAX GBG is presented as a game. Like all games there are rules or guidelines and rewards for doing well. But it is a game where everyone can succeed in their own way. It teaches children to have voluntary control over the attention circuits in the brain and increases the ability to self-regulate when excited. Additionally, PAX GBG reduces students’ reaction to accidental reinforcement for negative behaviour from peers and adults.

PAX GBG is not a curriculum, nor a system of “consequences” for bad behaviour. Instead it helps children learn to work together for mutual benefits. Hundreds of schools in the United States, United Kingdom and Europe use PAX GBG daily in their classrooms.

Image: PAX GBG places students at the centre

Our goal

The department is supporting schools to introduce PAX GBG into its whole school community: staff, students, teams and families.


Schools with students in Years K-2 that are focused on increasing wellbeing and prosocial behaviour can register to train in the program.

The funding for this program has been made available by the NSW Government to expand preventative mental health programs in schools. Funding does not extend to release time.

PAX Partners

The department is also training PAX Partners to provide coaching and support to guide PAX GBG implementation in schools. Staff training as PAX partners are members of a school's executive or specialist staff. PAX Partners start with PAX GBG training and then complete the PAX Partner program.

PAX Tools

Community facilitators will introduce parents, foster carers, before and after school care workers and other adults to the program so they too can support students. Facilitators use PAX Tools, a collection of evidence-based strategies, to improve cooperation and self-regulation in children. This ensures consistency for children using PAX GBG at school, home and play.

Other programs

PAX Next Steps is a refresher program for teachers already using PAX GBG with students. PAX Heroes provides professional development for teachers trained in PAX GBG to focus on children requiring more intensive support .

Schools can register their Expression of Interest online and bring the PAX Good Behaviour Game to their students.

Strategies used daily to increase learning outcomes

PAX GBG is a set of proven instructional and behavioural strategies used daily by teachers and students in the classroom – delivered as a fun, easy-to-follow game.

This universal prevention approach improves classroom behaviour and academic outcomes, and has been shown to provide a lifetime of benefits for every child by improving self-regulation and co-regulation with peers.

Since 1999, PAX Good Behaviour Game has been used in thousands of classrooms in 38 states across the USA, Canada, Ireland, Estonia and Sweden. A limited trial was run by Black Dog Institute and the results have led the NSW Department of Education to commission this program for its schools.

PAX GBG is the official Good Behaviour Game® used at John Hopkins University for ongoing research. Read more about the science behind the program.

PAX Good Behaviour Game supports ...


The PAX Good Behaviour Game builds self-regulation in children by creating shared relational frames with adults and peers. By reinforcing desirable behaviours and inhibiting unwanted behaviours, children develop agency and command to delay gratification and reduce impulsivity. This increase in pro-social behaviour and self-regulation paves the way for remarkably better academic, behavioural, and lifetime outcomes. PAX also develops and strengthens peer networks to improve relationships now and in the future.

Trauma-informed Care

PAX GBG creates a nurturing environment in every school and classroom allowing children to develop pro-social behaviours in a safe setting. It provides teachers with research-based strategies shown to support development and prevent the re-traumatisation of children who have been exposed to trauma. These strategies allow students to co-create consistent expectations and summon peer support in creating a nurturing classroom environment.


The PAX Good Behaviour Game provides teachers and other educators with practical tiered-intervention strategies to implement in the classroom. These strategies work together to reinforce expected, pro-social behaviours while inhibiting problematic behaviours. PAX GBG ensures evidence-based strategies and expectations for every student and uses data-driven decision-making to provide multiple levels of support for students with more intense needs. PAX GBG creates for a unified, multi-tier approach that establishes consistent expectations throughout the school.

Social and Emotional Learning

The PAX Good Behaviour Game promotes social and emotional learning in all students. By engaging students in co-creating expectations and developing shared relational frames, children can begin to recognise their own thoughts and feelings as well as regulate their own emotions and behaviours. PAX GBG also improves awareness for the needs of others and helps to improve peer support by developing and maintaining positive relationships with others.

Virtual training

We will be starting with the PAX GBG virtual online training, as there are no certified PAX GBG trainers in Australia and travel between countries may not resume for some time.

Training is 9 hours real-time online training with an accredited trainer in the US. The program is delivered in three 3-hour sessions over 3 consecutive mornings.

This is the foundational training of PAX GBG that explains how to implement strategies. Teachers learn the importance of a nurturing environment and its effects on trauma, self-regulation, and mental health outcomes throughout the lifespan.

Teachers also learn about the role they can play in supporting the students that are most affected by environmental influences, and how PAX strategies integrate seamlessly into existing tiered-intervention and additional school-wide procedures.

For this training, teachers receive a PAX Kit that provides all the materials necessary to carry out PAX GBG in their own classroom including the PAX GBG Manual; and will discuss how to use the PAX Up! App for implementing PAX GBG in the classroom.

PAX Partners support class teachers training in PAX GBG with support on using the program with students and provide advice on progress and implementation.

In NSW we are seeking to train PAX Partners who can support teachers in up to four schools each.

Supporting new or existing PAX GBG teachers

PAX Partners must be trained in PAX GBG. They are then trained in the PAX Partner program where they learn skills to support new or existing PAX GBG implementation.

PAX Partners learn expert coaching and support skills in order to effectively guide teachers as they improve their implementation. Partners also learn fidelity monitoring and use of data to alter implementations and collaborate with schools to generate the best outcomes possible from the PAX GBG implementation.

Virtual training

As with PAX GBG, the NSW PAX Partners will undertake training online. Training for PAX Partners will start in Term 3, 2020.

The training is 15 hours of training in total (9 hours of PAX GBG and an additional 6 hours of PAX Partner-specific training)

This instruction and the PAX Partner Manual provide PAX Partners with the skills to support teachers in initiating and maintaining PAX GBG implementation in their classroom by promoting the step-by-step integration of PAX strategies with fidelity into their classroom procedures.

Partners also receive instruction on using the PAX Up! App for data collection and analysis as well as guiding classroom implementation. This training also includes strategies for troubleshooting and additional assistance for teachers with students who continue to struggle.

PAX Tools is a collection of trauma-informed, evidence-based behavioural strategies for families and communities to promote the development of self-regulation of the children in their lives.

PAX Tools Facilitators

An individual who completes this training will become a PAX Tools Community Educator, with the skills necessary to implement community-based training in PAX Tools. Community Educators receive a manual, as well as training materials for each PAX Tool. They also receive access to ongoing technical assistance and professional development through PAXIS.

Candidates for this training might work in a number of roles including, but not limited to: community level prevention awareness/education, mental health, community health education, and mental health services, community support.

Carers who participate in PAX Tools seminars receive materials they need to effectively use PAX Tools with children, including the PAX Tools App.

Facilitator training in PAX Tools will start towards the end of 2020.

PAX Next Steps Teacher Training provides additional professional development in PAX strategies for teachers trained in PAX GBG.

This program will be introduced into NSW schools once travel between countries re-open.

Refreshes PAX GBG skills

PAX Next Steps Training provides teachers who have previously been trained in PAX GBG with enrichment and extension activities. This 1-day, in-person professional development training expands on the lessons from PAX GBG Initial Teacher Training and the original PAX Manual. This training explores advanced strategies and methods in the PAX Manual that are not provided in the initial teacher training.

This training also gives teachers access to a certified PAX Trainer to help troubleshoot implementation issues they may face in the classroom. It also provides explicit instruction for using PAX Kernels in tiered instruction and for students who have been exposed to trauma.

Teachers also receive training on utilising the PAX Up! App for implementing and monitoring their use of PAX GBG in their classroom. PAX Next Steps Training provides in-depth instruction for differentiated application of many traditional PAX strategies to create expertise in implementing PAX GBG.

PAX Heroes Teacher Training provides professional development focused on children in need of intense supports for teachers trained in PAX GBG.

This program will be introduced into NSW schools once travel between countries re-open.

In-person training

PAX Heroes Teacher Training is for teachers who have previously been trained in PAX GBG with new variations and strategies for students who continue to demonstrate behavioural difficulties.

This 1-day, in-person training delivers explicit instruction in using the PAX Heroes Manual to identify areas of student difficulty and refining PAX GBG implementation to support those needs. It provides instruction in analysing activities and areas of difficulty for students and selecting targeted Tier 2 and Tier 3 strategies to improve their behavioural and academic performance.

Teachers also receive training on utilising the PAX Up! App for implementing their use of PAX GBG in their classroom. This training also provides explicit instruction in behaviour observation and analysis useful in identifying useful strategies in and out of the classroom.

PAX Heroes Teacher Training provides instruction in integrating PAX Heroes assessment, analysis, and strategies with existing clinical assistance and school-wide procedures.

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