Students are expected to demonstrate respect for themselves, their peers and staff at all times.
K – 12 Positive Behaviour Support
The purpose of the Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) team is to develop and implement School-wide Positive Behaviour Support in order to improve behaviour, teach social skills and achieve higher educational outcomes in partnership with our College community. It is our intention that this will develop a school culture which is positive, caring and consistent, and based on a common language which is used by all.
Primary Positive Behaviour
General Behaviour Management
Merredin College primary staff and students operate under a behaviour management system which is aimed at being fair, positive and one that will:
- Ensure that within the classroom, teachers can teach and students can learn.
- Ensure that the playground will provide a physically and emotionally safe environment.
- Increase students’ self-esteem and foster pride as well as respect of themselves, their school, home and community thus assisting students to become responsible and productive members of our changing society.
Our behaviour management strategies are designed to teach students positive ways of behaving and taking responsibility for their own actions; not to punish or to enforce blind obedience. Logical consequences are invoked in a friendly manner, after emotions have calmed. Our actions imply good will.
The purpose of classroom time out, buddy class, self-reflection room, educational withdrawal, in-school suspension and suspension is to:
- Give the student time to calm down and reflect on the inappropriate behaviour.
- Allow the class teacher and the students to continue lessons or activities without interruption.
To create a friendly, welcoming school environment some of the positive strategies employed by staff in all classrooms include:
- Teaching of social skills using PATHS and BUZ and implementation of the Merredin College K-6 Values program.
- Awarding ‘Goodies’ tokens and Letters of Commendation (Gold notes).
- Use of Classroom Dojo.
- Use of techniques such as winning over and developing a sense of belonging.
- Classroom reward activities.
As a whole school, excellent behavior and attendance is encouraged and acknowledged by:
- Implementation of positive lunchtime programs
- Providing opportunities for students to access a Rewards’ room
- Involving students in fun days and excursions including the end-of-year reward activity.
- Awarding values and citizenship certificates at assemblies.
- The ‘Glass of Class’ display of students who are demonstrating a positive work ethic and behaviour.
- Involving P-2 and Year 3-6 students in end-of-term lunches with the Principal
- Providing attendance excellence and improvement rewards
Staff at Merredin College believe that the school should be safe and free from bullying of any kind. Bullying will not be tolerated as it infringes an individual’s right to safety. Bullying refers to repeated wilful attempts to hurt, threaten or frighten others. Bullying can occur in many forms – cyber, relational, physical, verbal or psychological.
Prevention and Management of Bullying
The primary staff at Merredin College explicitly teach values and social skills through the values program. What bullying is, how to prevent it and how to deal with it are taught via PATHS and BUZ. Teachers also incorporate discussions into lessons at ‘point of need.’
All victims and witnesses of bullying are encouraged to report to members of staff or parents or caregivers immediately they experience or witness any incidents of bullying. The College will investigate all reports of bullying. The processes outlined in the Merredin College Behaviour Management Policy will be used for such investigations. Restorative Practice is the process which staff favour as the best way of dealing with any incidences of bullying.
The message at Merredin College is that ‘It is not okay to stay away!’ We want students at school every day and on time.
Attendance rewards are provided periodically – daily, weekly, five–weekly and each term. Teachers run individual attendance rewards in their classrooms to encourage and improve their class attendance each week. These rewards include access to free-time, specific rewards or activities and special time using the various Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) resources at Merredin College.
Each week the attendance percentage for each class is calculated and the highest class, as well as the most improved class, have free time in the Rewards’ room. In addition, class attendance percentages are calculated every five weeks and the highest class becomes the STAR CLASS and are able access the Rewards’ room any time it is open on any given day.
At the end of each term students who have excellent behaviour and an attendance rate of 95% or above are invited to attend a reward morning or afternoon.
Students who attend school regularly (95% and above) and display good behaviour for the majority of the year will have the opportunity to be involved in our end-of-year reward. This is usually a special excursion organised for the end of Term 4. In the past, excursions have included events such as a day at Adventure World or Outback Splash.
Secondary Positive Behaviour
Good Standing only applies to secondary students. All secondary students at Merredin College are encouraged to behave in a positive manner and will be rewarded for doing the “right thing” through the Good Standing process. Students begin the year in Good Standing. This means they are eligible to participate in excursions and incursions (although for some student activities there are also school attendance criteria).
The purpose of Good Standing is to:
- Provide extrinsic motivation to all students.
- Reward students who have done the right thing.
- Provide staff with a tool they can use to promote a positive learning environment.
Students can lose their Good Standing for non-compliance with the school rules however, it automatically resets at the start of each term, and in most cases can be earned back.
Some curriculum-based and other excursions are exempt from the Good Standing rules. These include local activities essential to the curriculum or a student’s mental health, swimming lessons, NAIDOC and other cultural activities.
In relation to most excursions or camps, students are generally able to apply to earn back their Good Standing before these events. Students must take the responsibility for earning back Good Standing and consult with Student Services. In relation to Good Standing, special rules apply to the School Ball, Country Week, Year 12 Awards/Graduation Ceremony and the Year 9 Canberra Trip. This information is provided to students throughout the year.
General Behaviour Management
The focus of the Merredin College Behaviour Management policy is on students taking responsibility for their own conduct. Staff encourage and acknowledge positive behaviour and attitudes. They also implement educative programs with the intention of ensuring students understand and demonstrate socially acceptable behaviour. Strategies include:
- Maximising academic engagement and success by adapting learning programs to accommodate individual student differences.
- Each class collaboratively establishing classroom rules, rewards and sanctions.
- Teachers consistently acknowledging and rewarding examples of good behaviour.
- Teachers regularly reinforcing class and school rules.
Positive behaviour and attitude is acknowledged through:
- Letters of Commendation.
- ‘Purple slips’ as part of the House Rewards System. Students receive purple slips for a range of positive behaviours. These are placed in a box and students’ names are drawn out at each assembly. The students are awarded vouchers from businesses in Merredin.
- Assembly awards – Values certificates (for showing respect and integrity); Student of the Month (not only for academics but also for improved attitude and work ethic).
- Year reward activities – end-of-term run by Year Coordinator.
- Reward morning teas for highest achievers and Students of the Month.
- The Good Standing process. Students in Good Standing are acknowledged because they are able to attend a huge range of excursions. This includes’ but is not limited to’ Country Week, School Ball and Year 9 Canberra Camp.
- Individual classroom rewards which can include the use of Classroom Dojo and/or Classcraft by some teachers.
- Student Services rewards for students who achieve individual attendance and/or behaviour improvement goals.
For a minority of students who do not respond to the rewards and educative processes, the policy outlines a hierarchy of actions aimed at students realising the consequences of their actions and affecting positive changes to their behaviour.
Merredin College aims to establish a community in which everyone feels valued and safe, and where individual differences are appreciated, understood and accepted. Everybody has a right to enjoy their time at school and it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure this happens.
Staff have a zero tolerance to bullying. Bullying as defined at Merredin College is when any member of the school community repeatedly and deliberately misuses their power to target someone else with less power. Bullying can take many forms – cyber, verbal, relational, physical and psychological.
Students who are bullied or witness bullying must report this to a staff member (teacher, education assistant, the year coordinator or deputy principal). Telling someone is not dobbing. Refusing to tell someone means that the perpetrator is being given permission to continue. Students must know that there is always a solution to the problem if they let someone know.
All reports of bullying will be followed up on and investigated. Student Services (chaplain, student support officer) can offer counselling to students who are affected by bullying if required. Student Services will also ensure there are support procedures for the bully regarding their behaviour and that a suitable modification program is implemented to prevent a recurrence of the behaviour. This may occur in the form of an anti-bullying program run throughout classrooms with a particular year group. Restorative Practice will be used throughout the process.
Should bullying continue despite opportunities to modify behaviour, parents will be contacted and administration will outline the intention to suspend. Punitive measures are only taken as a last resort.
The Electronic Device Policy is in place to ensure that Merredin College is a happy, safe environment where we limit cyber-bullying and maximise students educational efforts. Nowadays people can capture images and immediately upload them to the world-wide web via Facebook or YouTube and this has potential to cause distress. Phone texting, gaming devices and music playing can interfere with learning.
The College Board want Merredin College to be a mobile telephone, iPod/MP3 and gaming console free zone. Such technology and their attachments may not be used on school grounds unless a teacher has specifically obtained the approval of the Principal to use the devices for a curriculum related purpose. Parents who wish to contact their children for emergencies can do so via the Administration Office. Students may use the telephone in the Administration Office or Student Services if parents need to be contacted.
Mobile telephones, iPods or MP3 players which are seen in the possession of a student (even if not their own) will result in the student being requested to put the device away. If the student refuses or is seen with the device again, a number of steps are taken which may result in the device being confiscated, the student’s name being recorded and parents being required to collect the device from Student Services.
Students who have gained staff approval for using a personal electronic device for a particular class may leave it in the safe keeping of the Student Services staff when not required. The device will be secured, labelled with the relevant student’s name and can be collected after the final bell of the day.
Other electronic devices such as iPads or personal laptops are to be used only with the permission of school staff and in accordance with the curriculum. Merredin College has a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program in place. Before bringing your own device for curriculum purposes, students should collect and read the Guidelines and User Agreement from Student Services. The User Agreement must be signed by students and parents or other responsible person before handing into Student Services. Accessing these devices during break times and listening to music or watching movies on them is not appropriate.