Holy Cross Glenwood a shining example when it comes to PBS4L!

(Holy Cross Glenwood PBS4L teachers Laura Esposito, Jesica Holt and Aymie Sultana)

Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta (CEDP) teachers were given the chance to see how the Positive Behaviour Support for Learning (PBS4L) framework is making a difference at Holy Cross Primary Glenwood.

The school hosted up to 120 CEDP teachers and staff along with the Executive Director Greg Whitby and Director of Learning Sue Walsh, as they shared their PBS4L journey so far. 

Holy Cross teacher and PBS4L team leader Jesica Holt said the school launched PBS4L in 2014 with the intention to build on what they had and to align it with the school’s established community agreements. 

“We have a shared belief that discipline is about re-teaching and shaping student behaviour rather than focusing on consequences. As a school we have developed a whole school approach to behaviour which includes having a common language, clear expectations from the students and a continual review of lesson plans,’’ Mrs Holt said.

“We also have a system in place to encourage and discourage behaviour, plus we use our data as a driver for decision making. Our goal for PBS4L is to integrate learning and behaviour where we create positive learning environments for all students’’ she said.

Principal Marina Hardy said it has been a very smooth transition and it started with teachers and parents understanding the why? “PBS4L Professional Learning is focussed on evidence-based teaching practice. We use multiple sources of data to drive our collaborative decision making around interventions,’’ Ms Hardy said.

(Holy Cross Glenwood Principal Marina Hardy takes attendees on a tour of the school explaining how each learning hub works)

“This has enabled us to have high quality enquiry based learning and less teacher talk, more student regulation and a reduction in reportable incidents,’’ Ms Hardy said.

Ms Hardy’s top tips for staying on track with PBS4L include:

  • leadership teams modelling the engagement
  • inclusion of all stakeholders
  • strong communication at all levels
  • use of data for goal motivation and problem solving 
  • giving regular feedback on what is going well and having a ‘100% commitment’ mindset 

CEDP Executive Director Greg Whitby said Holy Cross Primary is a school others can learn from when it comes to Catholic Education’s journey of transformation.

“It is an example of how everybody benefits from focusing on precision and alignment. At Holy Cross Glenwood they are not only implementing PBS4L with fidelity and sustaining and improving on it, but also integrating and aligning the framework with all their academic initiatives. Congratulations to the team in making this work,’’ Mr Whitby said.

Attendees were then taken on a tour of the school where they got to see first hand how each learning hub operates. The school also features special calming spaces inside and outside for students who appreciate having a brain break or the need to self regulate.

(Holy Cross Glenwood offers calming spaces with opportunities to do some therapeutic gardening for students who need to have a brain break or to self regulate)

Leader of Learning PBS4L at Our Lady of the Rosary St Marys, Alan Eisenhuth also presented to the attendees speaking about his school’s journey which began in 2015. “We implemented a consistent practice of positive learning and the importance of following the process. The school also received system support and saw a large reduction of call outs. Interventions were also put in place to support behaviours,’’ Mr Eisenhuth said.

CEDP Transition Coordinator Inclusion Jane Hayden also spoke to the attendees about the inclusion of PBS4L at Catholic Out of Hours School Care centres (COHSC). 

“We were experiencing lots of challenging behaviours at one particular school and I suggested they need clear expectations for children and educators. By implementing PBS4L in COSHC there is consistency between school and COSHC, it is helping casual teachers as they move between services and has helped with the implementation of reward systems. So far 20 out of the 25 COSHC services have moved over to using PBS4L,’’ Mrs Hayden said.