14 August 2017

Friendly Schools and Families

Hello to the Scotch College Community. For those of you who have recently joined us, we run a program here called the Friendly Schools Plus program. I coordinate the program, which endeavours to address the following aspects of life at Scotch:

1. BUILDING CAPACITY: Committed and Engaged Leadership, System Support and Resources, Ensuring Capability with School Community Needs.

2. SUPPORTIVE SCHOOL CULTURE: Positive Whole School Culture, Effective Classroom Practice and Environment, Positive Peer Group Influence.

3. PROACTIVE POLICIES AND PRACTICES: Policy Development, Information Technology, Policy Framework and Implementation: Prevention, Early Response and Case Management, Integrated Focus on Orientation and Transition.

4. KEY UNDERSTANDINGS AND COMPETENCIES: Staff Professional Learning, Explicit Student Learning through the Curriculum, Effective Family Communication.

5. PROTECTIVE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT: Physical Attributes of the School, Supportive School Facilities and Activities.

6. SCHOOL-FAMILY-COMMUNTY PARTNERSHIPS: Strengthening Family Links, Working Collaboratively with Health, Education and Community Service.

When looking more closely at the second area - Supportive School Culture, Effective Classroom Practice and Environment - we deliver a classroom program that focuses on Social and Emotional Learning. Each week teachers will be running short lessons that develop the following skills. These skills help to develop resilience and empathy as well as being an effective tool set for reducing and addressing bullying-related issues.

  • Self-Awareness - understanding our feelings
  • Self-Management - handling emotions in appropriate ways
  • Social Awareness - respecting the feelings of others
  • Relationship Skills - dealing positively with relationship problems
  • Social Decision-Making - making choices and considering the consequences

Each fortnight I will offer ideas on how to work with your children at home as research demonstrates that efforts to change the attitudes and behaviour of students are more likely to be successful if families are actively involved and share a sense of ownership over the process. The first suggestion appears below.

What can you do to help reduce bullying in our school?

  • Talk regularly with your children about bullying
  • Encourage your children to 'ask for help' if they are being bullied at school
  • If your children are fighting at home, help them discuss their problem and come to a mutual solution
  • Encourage your children to be assertive by helping them to practise speaking in a firm but friendly way, making eye contact, looking calm and smiling and feeling good about themselves

Warwick Norman

Friendly Schools and Families Coordinator