Positive Behaviour for Learning


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​What is Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL)?​​​

​Positive Behaviour for Learning is a school-wide framework and approach that focuses on explicit teaching and encouragement of positive behaviours in students to enhance their academic and social success. PBL aims to create safe, supportive and inclusive learning environments in schools.

As part of the framework, students receive explicit instruction on expected behaviours and actively participate in the establishment of well-defined, consistent boundaries. Staff adopt a proactive, preventive approach to ensure that every student receives the necessary support to thrive in the school environment. Student progress is continually assessed, allowing for additional support to be provided to those who require it, while a select few students may access intensive support to facilitate their successful participation in the school community.

​Key components of PBL

Clear expectations: ​at the outset, schools establish clear and consistent behavioural expectations for all students. These expectations are defined in a set of school-wide rules or guidelines that are easy for students, parents and staff to understand. At our school, our behaviour expectations matrix highlights three key areas of behaviour responsibility; respect for others, respect for self, respect for environment. Within each of these areas are explicit behaviours we expect all members of our school community to display.

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Teaching and modelling: Teachers implement these expectations of student behaviour, explicitly teaching and modelling behaviours from the matrix. Explicit instruction is a precise and structured teaching approach that is characterised by clear, direct, and clearly defined concepts or skills. The goal of explicit instruction is to make complex ideas or skills more understandable and accessible to learners by breaking them down into smaller, manageable steps. Teachers will provide students with explicit instruction on what behaviours are expec​​​ted in various school settings, such as classrooms, office areas and the playground. ​


Positive reinforcement: The objective of implementing a school-wide positive reinforcement program is to support staff in acknowledging students’ positive behaviour choices. Offering students positive reinforcement in response to expected behaviours represents an immediate and simple method to improve student behaviour and nurture a positive school culture. Positive feedback is essential for all individuals in the process of learning and then maintaining a behaviour or skill.  Behaviour is reinforced when we receive something of value as a result of displaying the desired expectation.

​Positive reinforcement at USHS acknowledges and rewards students when they exhibit the desired positive behaviours outlined in our Behaviour Expectations matrix.

  • Teachers allocate U-Coins to reward consistent display of expected positive behaviours.  Students are able to redeem these U-Coins for small prizes of their choice from a defined list of rewards.  

  • Staff also utilise Letters of Commendation, postcards home and positive text messages or phone calls.  

  • In addition to this, our school holds semester-based 'Rewards Days' where students engage in fun activities to celebrate together their contribution to positive behaviour at our school.  

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​Data and monitoring: All state schools gather data on the academic performance of individual students. This data can be examined to gain insights into trends and patterns at various levels, including the entire state of Queensland, specific regions, schools, classrooms, or individual students. Having a clear understanding of each student's progress enables educators to adapt their teaching and learning strategies to effectively support the unique needs of each student in terms of both academic performance and behaviour. Additionally, having a holistic view of a school's performance empowers school staff to concentrate their efforts on delivering appropriate support to students, ultimately developing a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for learning and achievement.​

Consistent and fair consequences: While emphasising prevention and behaviour support approaches as the foundation for effective school behaviour management, it is equally important for schools to consistently address problematic behaviours with impartial, logical, and predictable consequences. The purpose of a consequence is to correct and teach, therefore, the provision of a consequence should always contain an opportunity to reteach the expected behaviour.

Consequences should be selected to fit the individual student, the specific behaviour, the context or setting, and the frequency/severity of the behaviour. 

PBL committee and leadership team

At our school, the PBL committee is comprised of school executive and leadership members, classroom teachers, teacher aides, administrative staff and parent representatives. Meeting twice a term, the role of the committee is to collaborate on implementation of PBL practices with fidelity, interrogate school behaviour data to establish if there are persistent problem behaviours and discuss strategies/actions to address these.​

​The role of the PBL Leadership team is to action the decisions of the PBL Committee, communicate with the Urangan State High School community about decisions made, develop resources and support for explicit teaching and PBL classroom management practices and manage the school-wide positive reinforcement reward system.

​​​Engaging student voice in PBL 20231124_100724.jpg

Listening to and learning from students improves relationships, communication and learning. Student voice is a term used to cover several different aspects of student involvement, such as listening to students, student agency and student participation. Student voice is not only about listening to students, but also about responding to what has been said​​​​​​ in a respectful and inclusive way. Student agency is when students are engaged in making decisions about their learning. Student participation builds further on student agency by enabling students to share in decision-making and implementation.

How can parents get involved?

Parent representatives are invited to join the PBL committee each year and attend our PBL Committee meetings twice a term to provide important parent perspectives on behaviour management at the school There are also many others ways parents can support the school with positive behaviour of students, such as:

Support at home: Parents play a vital role in reinforcing positive behaviours at home. They can discuss and reinforce the same behavioural expectations that are taught at school. Consistency between school and home expectations is key.

Communication: Stay in regular communication with your child's school. Attend parent-teacher conferences, meetings, or workshops related to PBL programs. Ask questions and seek clarification if needed.​​

Reinforcement: Celebrate your child's successes and positive behaviours at school. Praise and reward them for exhibiting the desired behaviours both in and outside of school.

Collaboration: Collaborate with the school in addressing any behavioural challenges your child may be facing. Work together to develop strategies and interventions to support your child's behavioural development.

Model behaviour: Model positive behaviour and problem-solving skills for your child. They often learn by observing the behaviour of adults.

In summary, Positive Behaviour for Learning programs in schools aim to create a safe, supportive and inclusive learning environment.  Parents can contribute to the success of these programs by supporting the school's expectations and strategies, maintaining open communication, and reinforcing positive behaviour at home. By working together, schools and parents can help students develop the skills and behaviours they need to succeed academically and socially.

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Last reviewed 27 March 2024
Last updated 27 March 2024