A positive learning and teaching environment is essential if students are to succeed in school. A positive school climate exists when all members of the school community:
- feel safe, included and accepted
- actively promote positive behaviours and interactions.
Principles of equity and inclusive education must be embedded in the learning environment to support a positive school climate and a culture of mutual respect.
Resources for a positive school climate
See ideas and resources below for creating a positive school climate:
Curriculum, teaching & learning
- Use the Kids Have Stress Too! program for children in Kindergarten to grade 9 from the Psychology Foundation of Canada. This program promotes positive social-emotional development and effective stress management. The program includes:
- Kids Have Stress Too! For grades 1-3
- Stress Lessons for grades 4-6
- Stress Lessons: From Stressed Out to Chilled Out for grades 7-9
Get fact sheets for children, parents and professionals from PREVNet, a Canadian network of researchers and national organizations working to prevent bullying.
Use Stepping Stones to identify and respond to youth`s needs at each stage of their development. These tools are from the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services for youth ages 12 to 25 years old.
Challenge all school staff to greet students by name.
Encourage teachers and other school staff to build relationships with students who are experiencing academic or personal issues.
Classroom & school leadership
- Consider implementing organizational change, developing and evaluating policies. Advocate for changes within school to create a positive school climate.
- 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.
Social & physical environments
- Create trusting and caring relationships that promote open communication among administrators, teachers, staff, students, families and communities
- Map or plot “hot spots” to identify bullying in the playground and in the school
- Develop recess kits with equipment such as balls and skipping ropes
- Make kindness pledges
Home, school & community partnerships
Check these resources:
- Contact Hamilton for Children’s and Developmental Services Contact Hamilton is an entry point to services for children and youth with emotional, behavioural or developmental concerns and adults with developmental disabilities.
Kids Help Phone provides information for children, youth and helping adults. Call Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868.
Coordinate activities with:
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