How PBL has changed school systems at Drummond Memorial Public School
What is it?
PBL is a learning framework grounded on the principles of Prevention, Instruction and Function. These principles are built into all school systems and practices, using evidence based decision making processes.
When did we begin the journey and implementation of the program?
Staff attended training in June 2016, where we were exposed to the framework and successes of others schools from all around NSW. After discussing the benefits for our school, the staff members who attended presented to the remaining staff and gained 100% buy in, meaning 100% commitment to the framework and its implementation. This meant the whole staff were on board to implement and make changes using this framework. We will be attending this professional development again this year to continue to embed the framework across the school.
Who is Spike?
Spike is Drummond Memorial School’s Mascot. He is an echidna who was chosen for our school by the staff, students and school community in late 2016. We surveyed all bodies across the school community for what type of animal we would like and the name of our mascot. Once our animal was chosen, we as a school had a local artist and print maker
Simone Hale bring our mascot to life. He is now a very visible member of our school through signage and cuddly toys. These signs welcome visitors and students to our school and remind the students what behaviours are expected from them and in what area.
Spike has been made into cuddly toys. These cuddly toys are well worn now and travel on excursions, provide safety and comfort to students and classes when they may be feeling down or having a rough day. Sometimes all you need is a cuddle from Spike.
Our School Mantra of RESPECT CONNECT SUCCEED.
This Mantra again was chosen by the whole school community through surveying in class and at school events. These words were chosen to be our values for our school. As a school we come back to these values for our teaching as teachers, and for what we expect from our school community and students.
How do we teach these values?
Every Monday we begin our week as a school with a PBL focus. This focus is based around the needs identified by teachers and students and what the expectations are around the school. This lesson is where all teachers can access it and taught at the same time by every class. This ensures that the expectations are clear, the language we use as a school is consistent, and the school begins the week with the same focus and our rewards match the behaviours we are wanting the students to display.
All lessons are modified to cater to all stages, levels and abilities. For example, in Week 7 it was an anti-bullying campaign. We modified and updated a lesson called, “Is it Rude, Is it Mean, or Is it Bullying?” This lesson was taught across the school, and what followed were positive discussions, a shared language and a greater understanding of how we can identify negative behaviours and gave the students strategies to deal with this. Lessons will always begin with a visual grab, which could include a great clip, movie scene, or a book that is focusing on our expectation.
Rewarding Desired Behaviour.
We use a variety of strategies to reward the students for desired behaviours. They range from simple rewards of stickers and group weekly line rewards to Spike stickers, Spike stamps and rewards sessions, with the ultimate goal for every student to make it to Platinum Bar. These rewards are outlined in our school’s welfare document and followed by our school community.
At any stage you could ask the students how many Spike stickers or stamps they need and where they are up to in the rewards system. This is visually available inside the classrooms through a chart and in their PBL rewards booklets.
What is a Spike Scout?
A Spike Scout is a senior member of the school who helps identify great behaviour in the playground. These senior students are volunteers who give up their play to help the teachers on duty to spot fair play, kindness, inclusion, following the rules and fun. They are able to record these students, report back to the duty teacher and then issue the Spike Sticker. This allows more stickers and positive rewards for positive behaviour. The kids always know that Spike is looking.
What teachers and students like about PBL.
“It’s great, because we can come up with the ideas on how to make our school better” – Jada Barker, Year 5.
“I like watching the videos at the beginning of the lessons” – Ngawai Morrell, Year 5.
“We like the video about Spike, particularly when he is running around. It’s funny” –
Ngawai and Billy, Year 5.
“PBL teaches the students the exact
behaviours they need to display and in what area of the school” – Mrs Amy Betts.
“My class love the explicit teaching and the common language the lessons and framework provide. We are always revisiting the lessons, especially when a new student joins the class”- Mrs Kristy Curry.
“ I like Spike, because he is an echidna” – Coren, Kookaburra Class.