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Tutorial Activity 1

Student ID number:

21503852

An analysis and enquiry of the Code of Behaviour Management Plan for Palm Beach
Currumbin State High School (2007) reveals that the policy has been prepared as
part of the school’s continuing review of behaviour management practices. The
policy clearly states that it is underpinned by the National Framework for Values
Education in Australian Schools. Furthermore, referral by Education QLD to their
website (Queensland Government 2004) states in its SMS-PR-021: Safe, Supportive
and Disciplined School Environment policy that the National Safe Schools
Framework (NSSF) is a collaborative effort by the Commonwealth, State and
Territory government and non-government school authorities, and other key
stakeholders (not specified) to achieve a shared vision of physical and emotional
safety and wellbeing for all students in all Australian schools.

Although the PBC High School Policy (2007) does not provide detail of the
committee or members of the committee that compiled the policy, enquiry with
administrative staff and a deputy principal on 23rd July, 2009 at PBC High School has
revealed that at a school based level, the Policy is strictly a collaborative effort by
staff members only (ie: administrative, support and teaching staff) and does not
involve input by groups such as the P & C committee, student representatives or
members of the community. The policy is reviewed regularly as required, the
importance of which is outlined in Constructive Discipline (Mayer, 1999, p.16) that
states changes in student groups and teaching staff make review of policy necessary
for continued success.

The aim of this policy which is underpinned by the NSSF (Queensland Government
2004) is to assist the school community in building safe and supportive schools
where bullying, harassment and violence are minimised and students receive
support on issues related to child abuse and neglect. The NSSF (Queensland
Government 2004) is underpinned by a set of guiding principles and related key
elements/approaches that schools can put in place to effectively provide a safe and
supportive learning environment. The values and codes appear to be written for all
concerned with an emphasis on student safety.

The main issues of concern that relate to management of the school tend tofocus on
maintaining a successful academic, vocational, cultural and sporting fieldsby
ensuring that key issues pertaining to the policy are promoted within the school
curriculum. (PBC, 2007 p. 1)

The core concepts and issues relating to management for the school are based on
three key principles obtained from the nine values of Australian Schooling. (PBC,
2007 p. 2) They are: Act Safely, Show Respect, Be a learner. The policy also
provides a detailed list of the beliefs that PBC High School holds as valuable in
delivering its commitment along with school guidelines and an outline of standards
and expectations of teachers, parents and students in terms of their rights and
responsibilities. The policy encourages key players to extend this level of
responsibility to their interaction with the wider community. The approach used by the
school is one that compares favourably with that of Mayer’s article (1999) whereby
he argues in favour of constructive discipline. Examples of PBC’s support of
constructive discipline alternatively titled positive behaviour include areas for positive
focus, acknowledgements for positive conduct and strategies for building positive
conduct among students. (PBC, 2007 p.4) This supports Mayer’s explanation that
the constructive discipline approach is based on “prevention and teaching desirable
behaviour rather than punishing, reducing or eliminating undesirable behaviour”.
(1999 p.3) The policy lists the consequences for unacceptable behaviour at
classroom level to out of class room based actions of misconduct and rates the level
of misconduct from one to four. (PBC, 2007 p.7) For example different levels of
misconduct are referred to different members of staff.

The policy promotes student self-regulation and expectations by the school, details
of which are clearly outlined in the policy. They include the following:
• We believe that it is reasonable to have high expectations of our students,
that they will, at all times, act in a manner that will bring credit to themselves,
their families and the school.

• We believe that behaviour is learned and that when behaviour is


inappropriate, new behaviours can replace old.

• We believe that behaviour management should aim to promote self-discipline


and prevent negative behaviours.

• We believe that individuals are responsible for their behaviours and are
capable of problem-solving to “make it right”. Consequently, our preferred
model for behavioural consequences is based on restitution where possible.
(PBC, 2007 p. 3)

The abovementioned beliefs compare favourably with the Basic assumptions about
behaviour and behaviour management outlined in chapter one of Zirpoli’s (2008)
Behaviour Management. For example Zirpoli clearly states that “most behaviours are
learnt,” (2008 p.24) a belief shared by PBC High School.

The policy outlines expectations for student responsibility such as the value number
eight code of responsibility that states one should “be accountable for one’s own
actions” (PBC, 2007 p2)

Different misbehaviours result in different responses. For example, as outlined under


the Consequences for unacceptable behaviour code of the policy, (PBC, 2007 p.7) a
level one rated misbehaviour such as a potentially unsafe behaviour will result in a
lesser action being taken as a result as opposed to a level four rated misbehaviour
that is criminally malicious which will result in more extreme intervention possibly
requiring police support. Also, varying levels of behaviour will result in appropriate
consequences or rewards depending on the given event.
Behaviour management is primarily a whole-school, inclusive system whereby policy
states the school’s belief that “as students, parents and teachers in our PBC
community work together on our Whole-of-School CODE OF CONDUCT, there will
be many positive outcomes for our students, such as “Achieving personal potential,
Participating as valued and responsible members of the community and Becoming
life-long learners.” (PBC, 2007 p.3)
Although the policy takes a whole-of-school approach it also recognises different
types of student offences. There is consideration for individual circumstances as
outlined under the Network of student support code of the PBC policy (2007 p.8)
whereby it states “Our policy is based on the recognition that, because the factors
that influence behaviour are complex, the responses need to be varied. Our plans for
managing behaviour include positive measures, such as early identification and pro-
active planning for students with particularly difficult behaviours” Under the
consideration for individual circumstances code, a map is available outlining the
support network options for students seeking assistance. These options vary from
those qualified to offer emotional assistance to those qualified to offer assistance
pertaining other areas such as health or education.

Value nine of the policy advocates understanding, tolerance and inclusion whereby it
lists the following:
• Be aware of others and their cultures
• Accept diversity within a democratic society
• Being included and including others (PBC, 2007 p.2)

In conclusion it is evident that the primary purpose of the policy is to support the
rights of students, teachers and parents and is specifically aimed at providing
students with the opportunity to engage in learning and contribute positively to the
curriculum as well as the wider community. As stated in the policy “We believe that
early intervention and a progression of consequences from least to most intrusive is
the best way of reducing inappropriate behaviour, and that “reactive” management,
while sometimes necessary, should be seen as the final stages in a positive and
supportive educational environment.” The success of the policy can only result in a
win/win outcome for all involved. Therefore the policy is one that is workable for
everybody affiliated with the school.
POSITIVE
Word count: 1251

References:

Code of Behaviour Management Plan for Palm Beach Currumbin State High School
(2007)

Mayer, G.R. (1999). Constructive Discipline For School Personnel. Education and
treatment of children 22 (1), 26.

Queensland Government. (2004) Education Queensland. Retrieved July 16, 2009


http://education.qld.gov.au/eq/
Zirpoli, T.J. (2008). Behavior management: Applications for teachers (5th edn).
Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Merrill Prentice Hall.