To The School Community,
Last week I wrote “………..For our school – the idea of the BYSTANDER is an important movement that we would like to create beyond the boundaries of our school. I am keen to measure the impact our students, families, other groups in Barwon Heads can connect to this and spread the word beyond our school and town. The first step in building this collective agency is inviting our Community to the BYSTANDER session to witness first hand student agency in action.”
The students, our Peer Mediators, who led this session highlighted that given the opportunity that our students could send a powerful message. Their presentation showed many character strengths- persistence, team work, leadership courage and wisdom to name a few. Their very clear explanation about what peer mediators do – empower individuals to prevent and resolve conflict by developing the values, attitudes, skills and knowledge to create options that are solution focussed and proactive.
Helping each other to become better problem solvers, critical thinkers and decision makers who can build relationships with each other is the ultimate goal of the program. Developing automaticity in students being solution focussed is an ambitious goal that I think we can reach due to the level of confidence that we should all have in the students that come to this school. They are kind, considerate, respectful kids who at times need to be supported to solve a problem.
One of our early steps has been the introduction of the idea of being an effective bystander, another focus of last week’s presentation. The aim of this philosophy is to empower students to use the character strengths of prudence, courage, honesty and fairness to support their peers, not only their friends, who may be in a situation where they are not being treated properly.
In the coming weeks you will notice the SEE, THINK, RESPOND mantra becoming a more visible part of the school culture. These 3 very simple words will begin to empower students to make decisions that will help others. There are many daily examples of this occurring at our school daily, it’s not about dobbing but about playing a part in keeping the peace.
Two examples from this week where the method was applied the other where it should have been :
- Two boys treating each other roughly on the oval arguing about whose turn it is to bat. An older student steps into Effective Bystander mode:
Names the behaviour: “you two need to stop trying to hurt each other”
Says Why- “Because that’s not safe”
Gives an action – “If you don’t I will have to get a teacher to take the bat and ball so you are safe”
- A group of students discussing invitations to a party.
The host says” I can only invite a few people so I will choose the people I really like”
Others from the group tell a girl that they’re not invited because the host doesn’t like them.” This caused a conflict that could have been easily avoided if one student applied the SEE THINK ACT process and stepped in before these inaccurate and unfair comments were made.
I ask that parents discuss being a Bystander with your children, recognise and reward through praise and expressing pride when your child acts in this manner in or outside of school.
|Friday 16th March
Tuesday 20th March
Barwon Estuary Project ( Year 5’s)
Wednesday 21st March
Annual General Meeting 6:00 pm
School Council 6:30 pm
Thursday 22nd March
BHPS Cross Country
Friday 23rd March
Parent Session – An insight into Secondary School ( Transition, Developmental Phases during adolescence, Strategies for Parents.
Wednesday 28th March
Year 2 and Year 4 Music Performance 2:30 pm in the school gymnasium
Thursday 29th March
Last Day term One – 2:30 pm finish