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Thursday, 28 Jan 2016

Creating supportive environments in schools

Students learn, grow and prosper in safe and supportive environments. A school’s ethos and culture provides an important educational influence alongside the formal curriculum. Modeling acceptable behavior both in and outside the classroom enables students to develop the knowledge and skills needed to be positive members of the community.

A positive school culture can be influenced by the whole school community. A whole-of-school approach recognises that all aspects of the school community can impact on students’ health and wellbeing, and that learning and wellbeing are inextricably linked.

Fundamental to a safe and supportive school environment is building positive relationships and attitudes and behaviors based on equity, respect and responsibility. The mandatory PDHPE curriculum from Kindergarten to Year 10 provides students with the knowledge and skills to be positive members of their school and in the wider community.

In the K-6 PDHPE curriculum, students learn to:

  • Respect different values
  • Understand rights and responsibilities
  • Challenge discrimination and harassment
  • Establish positive relationships
  • Communicate effectively
  • Seek people who can help them and others.

In the Year 7-10 PDHPE curriculum, students learn to:

  • Affirm diversity
  • Identify strategies to deal with change and challenges
  • Develop equal and respectful relationships that are caring and respectful
  • Recognise abuse, power in relationships and bullying and harassment
  • Propose and develop strategies to effectively manage personal safety
  • Advocate and support themselves and others.

Schools have the flexibility to deliver the PDHPE curriculum in an age appropriate manner that is sensitive to the nature and context of their school.

Participation in the following events are examples of ways that schools can build safe and supportive environments.

  • Tuesday 9 February is Safer Internet Day which aims to highlight positive uses of technology and to explore the role we all play in helping to create a better and safer online community.
  • Friday 18 March is National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence This day encourages all students to ‘take a stand together’ against bullying and violence in schools, the classroom and beyond.

The following resources can assist schools in creating a supportive environment:

 For more information, contact:
Karen Ingram     
Inspector, PDHPE
(02) 9367-8150

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