A positive school and classroom climate and culture

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Real change happens when students, school staff, parents and whānau, and other members of the community share responsibility for making a respectful and inclusive environment in their school.

Setting and following clear and consistent behaviour expectations in relation to bullying is a critical part of a whole-school approach.

These behaviour expectations should be:

  • closely connected to your school’s mission and reflect your school's core values
  • posted prominently throughout your school
  • taught in the classroom
  • talked about regularly with all members of your school community
  • refered to and used to understand social situations and problems.

Why set behaviour expectations?

Setting behaviour expectations is a clear way of demonstrating what your school values — a public statement of what's important for your school community. They establish school-wide expectations for mutually-respectful behaviour, and to show what that means in practice.

Just having behaviour expectations will not prevent bullying. Most students already know that bullying is wrong and that they will get into trouble if they are caught bullying someone. But without behaviour expectations, students may believe that bullying is not that serious and that preventing it is not a priority for your school community.

Behaviour expectations should apply to every member of your school community.  Staff should help students learn what they represent and what it means to follow them.

Students should know how the behaviour expectations are different from other expectations such as not running in the corridor, or leaving school without permission. Bullying is a relationship issue, so the social nature of behaviour expectations needs to be emphasised and explained to students.