​​​Involving students

School leaders and teachers foster genuine involvement of students through:

  • supporting​ positive relationships between teachers and students
  • fostering and maintaining positive, caring and respectful peer relationships (both same-age and cross-age).

In a safe and supportive school community, students feel a sense of belonging, consider their school to be a good school, care for and support other students in their school community, and contribute to the school's positive reputation.

This page is based directly on content from the Australian Student Wellbeing Framework (PDF, 2.7MB) and the now superseded​ National Safe Schools Framework. 

Enhancing the involvement of students
Respect for student diversity
Student leaders

Mentoring and peer support
Transition programs

Enhancing the involvement of students

Involving students requires genuine efforts by schools to listen to and incorporate student views.

This includes fostering 'student voice' and engaging students in developing their personal identity and their strengths in decision-making.

Students are active participants in their own learning and wellbeing, feel connected and use their social and emotional skills to be respectful, resilient and safe.

Effective practices include:

·         Provide opportunities for authentic student decision-making over  matters that affect them

·         Create and maintain inclusive and interactive learning environments to  encourage active student participation to foster a sense of connectedness

·         Actively engage students through the use of evidence-informed,  strengths-based approaches to enhance their own learning and wellbeing

·         Explicitly teach social and emotional skills using evidence-informed  practices related to personal safety, resilience, help-seeking and  protective behaviours across the curriculum

·         Collaborate with students to develop strategies to enhance wellbeing,  promote safety and counter violence, bullying and abuse in all online  and physical spaces

Respect for student diversity

All members of the school community are active participants in building a welcoming school culture that values diversity, and fosters positive relationships.

Effective practices include:

·         Recognise and value the role and contribution of staff, students and families in building and sustaining school connectedness

·         Respect the diversity of the school community and implement proactive strategies in order to build a cohesive and culturally safe school

·         Teach, model and promote values and behaviour in order to create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments

·         Foster and maintain positive, caring and respectful student–peer, student–teacher, teacher–parent and teacher–teacher relationships

·         Engage in professional learning to build capacity for enhancing the social, emotional and learning outcomes of all students and in order to promote staff wellbeing ​

making provision for students with disabilities and learning and/or social-emotional difficulties

following guidelines the Disability Standards for Education (particularly Part 8 'Standards for Harassment and Victimisation').

Student leaders

Student leaders play a central role in creating a positive school climate in which bullying is not acceptable.

Schools can harness experience and status of student leaders, both formal and informal, through:

  • discussing with senior students (and others) the importance of modelling appropriate behaviour in resolving conflict and responding to bullying
  • fostering peer support by older students for younger students
  • delegating responsibility to students for teaching anti-bullying and cybersafety messages to others (e.g. peers, younger students, teachers, parents and carers)
  • encouraging students to participate in activities that build empathy with others
  • formalising student leadership roles that focus on student wellbeing and fostering a safe and supportive school.

Mentoring and peer support

Mentoring and peer support for students includes:

  • teacher-student mentoring
  • events that include a special focus on family relationships (e.g. father-daughter nights)
  • mentoring of students by adults outside the school
  • establishing peer support structures (e.g. buddy programs, forums, peer mediation, peer mentoring structures)
  • providing opportunities to participate in activities and structures that promote cross-age interaction and relationships (e.g. cross-age house systems, cross age musical, art, drama productions, clubs, cross-age tutoring groups).

Transition programs

Establishing proactive, comprehensive and staged transition programs can be a highly effective way to prevent bullying. Transition programs can target students entering school for the first time, moving from primary school to secondary school, and moving to a senior school or senior campus.

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