Positive School Climate

A positive learning and teaching environment is essential if students are to succeed in school. Promoting positive relationships and preventing bullying will enhance school climate and a supportive learning environment. 

A positive school climate exists when all members of the school community:

  • feel safe, included and accepted
  • actively promote positive behaviours and interactions.

Read more about promoting a positive school climate

Resources for a positive school climate

The following ideas and resources are based on best practice recommendations from PrevNet and the CDC: School Connectedness

Educate and develop awareness about bullying, the importance of healthy relationships, and self-awareness about the use of real and perceived power in relationships.

  • PREVNet recommends the following actions for the classroom:
    • Advocate for individual children
    • Model appropriate relationship skills
    • Create a warm, safe and inclusive environment
    • Intervene early and often
    • Promote positive group activities, including choosing groups for students
  • Get fact sheets for children, parents and professionals from PREVNet, a Canadian network of   researchers and national organizations working to prevent bullying.  
  • Use the lesson plans and resources from the Psychology Foundation of Canada to promote positive social-emotional development and effective stress management. 
    • Kids Have Stress Too! Grades 1-3
    • Stress Lessons. Grades 4-6
    • Stress Lessons: From Stressed Out to Chilled Out. Grades 7-9
    • Stress Lessons: Tools for Resilience. Grades 9 – 12

Refer to:

  • On My Way: A guide to support middle years child development (ages 6- 12 years)
  • Stepping Stones: A report to identify and respond to youth`s needs at each stage of their development (ages 12 – 25 years)
  • WITS: A literature-based program to support elementary school children deal with bullying
  • OPHEA: Online teaching tools for internet safety for grades 4-6 and 7-8
  • Develop positive solutions to prevent and address bullying
  • Build social responsibility and open trusting communication about bullying and relationship difficulties
  • Assess the school’s current methods and procedures for responding to bullying to identify strengths and areas that need to be addressed
  • Use a whole school approach which involves administration, staff, students, parents/guardians, and the broader community  
  • Identify leaders or champions from staff, students, parents and the community
  • Read Promoting a Positive School Climate.  

Provide students with the academic, emotional and social skills necessary to be actively engaged in school.

Provide opportunities for students of all achievement levels to interact with one another and develop friendships, promote teamwork and lessen hierarchical divisions between older and younger students.  

  • Enlist students to create posters that promote healthy relationships and prevent bullying
  • Develop announcements with a positive message of the day
  • Plan activities for Bullying Awareness Week (3rd week in November) and Pink Shirt Day
  • Recognize students’ positive behaviours
  • Promote positive relationships within and between the entire school to enhance school climate and a supportive learning environment.
  • Promote attitudes of respect, acceptance and inclusion to prevent bullying among students.
  • Use a variety of strategies to communicate expectations, values, and norms that support positive health and academic behaviours. 

Provide education and opportunities to enable families to be actively involved in their children’s      academic and school life.

Find fact sheets for parents from PREVNet, a Canadian network of researchers and national organizations working to prevent bullying. 

Consider these resources:

Coordinate activities with: 

Certains renseignements et certaines ressources du Service de santé publique présentés sur cette page Web pourraient être disponibles en français. Communiquez avec l’infirmière affectée à votre école ou envoyez au courriel à healthyschools@hamilton.ca pour en savoir plus long sur les ressources et les services offerts en français.