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 Friendly Schools PLUS

Introduction

Friendly Schools PLUS draws on 13 years of extensive and rigorous research by the Child Health Promotion Research Centre (CHPRC) into best practice to build social skills and reduce bullying in school communities. The resource comprises over 75% new material than the original Friendly Schools Resource, presented in a blended online and print environment, and includes evidence from the latest cyberbullying research conducted by the CHPRC. The program provides schools with strategies and resources to achieve the vision and all nine elements of the newly-revised National Safe Schools Framework.

The Friendly Schools PLUS program links directly to the General Capabilities outlined in the Australian Curriculum under Personal and Social Capability. It is also based on 11 major research projects conducted since 1999 involving more than 27,000 Australian school-age students from pre-primary to Year 10, their teachers and families.

This research has focused critically on understanding student social and emotional learning seeking locally relevant and practical outcomes while informing national and international policy and practices. It is recognised nationally and internationally as a whole-school evidence-based program that can reduce bullying behaviour.​

Some of the goals of the implementation of the Program include:

  • Providing all students opportunities to develop and practice social skills through classroom learning activities;
  • Creating within our schools a positive social environment which actively discourages bullying;
  • Modifying the school grounds and supervision during morning and lunch breaks to discourage bullying;
  • Encouraging all staff, students and parents to treat all school community members with respect and tolerance;
  • Implementing a clear and consistent approach to managing reported bullying incidents; and
  • Providing parents with resources and strategies to help communicate more effectively with their children about bullying.

Parents’ role in the Whole-school Program to reduce bullying in schools

Friendly Schools research has demonstrated that efforts to change attitudes and behaviour of students are more likely to be successful if parents are actively involved and feel a sense of shared ownership of the process.

How can parents support the Friendly School?

  • Get to know your school’s bullying policy and discuss it with your child.
  • Maintain regular contact with your child’s teachers.
  • Try to attend school functions, for example, assemblies and/or help out on the class parent roster to demonstrate your support for your child and the school.
  • Read the school newsletter and discuss items of interest with your child.
  • Model a positive attitude towards school and encourage your child to see the positive aspects of school life.
  • If there is a problem with your child at school, try to work together with the school to overcome the problem.  This shows a committed partnership between parents and the school to work towards positive solutions.