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Wednesday, 22 May 2019 06:47 am

Positivity key as Miramar Central School taps into ministry funding

Sep 6th, 2017 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

Motivation is replacing seclusion rooms at Miramar Central School.

The school at the centre of a seclusion room controversy last year has embraced the Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) scheme.

You’re lucky to get on to it [the scheme], says principal John Taylor-Smith, because the cost limits access to the Ministry of Education funded programme.

The programme led by the ministry recognises punitive and exclusionary discipline is ineffective in creating long-term changes.

Focus is placed on acknowledging good behaviour and encouraging positive interactions in school and at home.

“It’s a motivational theory in a sense, if you feel good about things and you’re positive, you’re going to learn better,” says Taylor-Smith.

While an emphasis is placed on positive behaviour, it is coupled with a framework to deal with problems when they arise.

Teachers make use of a pre-prepared script when issues arise, ensuring school-wide consistency when dealing with problems.

“It’s better because everybody is consistent with how problems are tackled and recorded.”

The intensive scheme looks at school-wide aspects of setting up value systems, making things easy for kids to understand, and treating behaviour as a learning opportunity.

“It’s not about dumbing things down, it’s about approaching them [the kids] at their level and including them.”

Taylor-Smith says the purpose of schools is more than providing transition of knowledge but also for teaching socialisation and creating a value system.

“The idea of PB4L is everything is a learning opportunity. It’s right up my alley” says the principal of 34 years, who has completed a Master’s thesis in behavioural management and disciplinary method.

The PB4L programme introduced in 2009 is now in over 700 schools throughout New Zealand.

Taylor-Smith says that the idea is that you cannot be too positive, as long as it’s targeted.




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