Behaviour management


Learning and teaching in our school is effective and students participate positively within our school community. Cairns State High School supports teaching and wellbeing by:

  • Promoting high expectation relationships;
  • Maintaining high standards of learning, uniform and behaviour;
  • Developing positive education with the Learning Curve program as the foundation;
  • Focusing on individual case management and pastoral care;
  • Implementing Restorative Practices to enhance relationships among students, and between students, teachers, and parents, so as to accept responsibility.

Responsible Behaviour and Wellbeing plan (PDF, 1043KB)

A. High Expectation Relationships

The Stronger Smarter Institute has developed a framework for High Expectation Relationships. The framework covers the domains of self, student, peer, parents/carers and community. Elements of H-E R include personal assumptions, creating spaces for dialogue and engaging in challenging conversations.

The framework describes the behaviours, dispositions and conversational processes needed to develop quality relationships within the classroom, staffroom and school community to create a high-expectations learning environment where students can thrive and succeed, It incorporates both fair and firm.

Fundamental is that expectations challenge social assumptions that may exist. The orientation to seek to understand supports the restorative behaviours processes.

B. High Standards of learning, uniform and behaviour

Students are prepared to meet the high standards set by the school and engage positively in:

  • enforcing the School Dress Code;
  • upholding the values of the school.

“Staff members, students and parents are proud of the reputation the school has established for academic excellence across the broader community. The school leadership team is clearly committed to finding ways to improve student outcomes.”

School Improvement Unit - Cairns State High School - Review Report – 2016

The school has implemented the Essential Skills for Classroom Management as a basis for correcting off-task behaviours.

C. Positive Education

  • developing a sense of wellbeing for Students (and Staff) thus allowing them to find meaningfulness in everything they do
  • building positive emotions
  • encouraging self-management and other life qualities to assist achievement at school and at life beyond the bell.

Positive Education as a strand of Positive Psychology has as its primary focuses the development of resilience, optimism and the promotion of mindfulness and purpose. We want students and staff to strengthen their relationships and engagement with the world around them and create and value a healthy lifestyle.

Developing positive school culture ensures that students learn in an environment without disruptive behaviour impacting on their success and enjoyment of learning. It is expected that students will respect our teaching staff’s fundamental right to teach and their peers’ right to learn.

We also acknowledge that if students are to become responsible and productive members of society, teachers must help them develop responsibility for their actions. Teachers explicitly model, teach, correct and re-teach expected behaviours and foster and repair relationships.

D. Individual Case Management and Pastoral Care

Knowing every student in a large school poses special challenges. Systems to support every student include:

  • Structuring school leadership to define responsibility for student wellbeing and learning;
  • Reviewing student progress and engagement (attendance, behaviour and effort) at regular fixed intervals;
  • Conducting ‘Health Checks’ at scheduled intervals to review school performance;
  • Identifying and case managing students emergent and ongoing needs;
  • Providing a range of programs to support students engagement and learning;
  • Managing engagement and achievement with students so they grow ownership for behaviour.

E. Implementing Restorative Practices

The Restorative Practices philosophy provides students with the opportunity to develop self-discipline and positive behaviours in a safe & supportive environment. The fundamental concept of Restorative Practices highlights that misconduct is a violation of people and relationships which creates obligations and liabilities requiring healing and setting right. Restorative Practice promote individual and community values around participation, respect, honesty, humility, interconnectedness, accountability, empowerment and hope.

Our aims in utilizing Restorative Practices are to:

  • Educate students towards self-directed positive behaviour,
  • Promote, nurture and protect healthy relationships among members of the school community,
  • Enable students to be accountable for the real consequences of any wrong doing.

We believe that our approach to managing inappropriate student behaviour should primarily be an educative one. That is, the fundamental aim of our behaviour management philosophy and practice should be for students to learn to be responsible for themselves and their actions and to make genuine, positive contributions to their community. A Restorative approach sees conflict or wrong-doing firstly as an opportunity for students to learn about the consequences of their actions, to develop empathy with others, and to seek to make amends in such a way as to strengthen the community bonds that may have been damaged.

Cairns State High School has high expectations of all its community members. Students are expected to exhibit high standards of personal behaviour and are challenged when these expectations are not met. They are challenged, however, in a way that respects them as individuals to enable them to correct their behaviour and to make amends to those affected. Through developing empathy for others, students learn to become more positive, supportive and contributing members of their community. Our school community perceives this approach as being ‘firm, but fair’.

Being ‘firm, but fair’ involves:

  • Clearly articulating and reinforcing expectations,
  • Adhering to fair process in dealing with all cases of conflict and wrong-doing, and
  • Recognising that wrong-doing primarily causes harm to relationships, and that this harm must be repaired in order to move forward.

At the heart of the Restorative Practices philosophy is an understanding of the Social Discipline window which depicts the possible ways in which teachers (or parents) could respond to undesirable behaviours in young people.

In a primarily punitive response, the wrongdoer is held to high standards, but without the support necessary to reach them. Such a response can be alienating and stigmatising. It can also fail to effect any real change in behaviour. In a more permissive response, the wrongdoer may find the support he needs without being held to account for their actions. It is the aim of the Restorative approach to be operating in the top right pane of the window - holding students to high standards of behaviour while at the same time providing the support and encouragement necessary for them to meet these expectations. The Restorative approach emphasises working with students to educate them to positive behaviour.

A Restorative approach:

  • Values the person while challenging negative behaviour
  • Encourages students to accept the consequences of their actions for others,
  • Enables students to make amends where their actions have harmed others,
  • Requires students to be accountable for their actions,
  • Develops  self-discipline,
  • Encourages respect for all concerned,
  • Reflects the value placed on relationships - among students, and between teachers and students.

In this way, a Restorative approach is perceived as being authoritative, rather than authoritarian. An authoritative approach holds to the community values and challenges members to demonstrate these values in all their interactions with others.

School Values

The Responsible Behaviour Plan is based on the school's values and details students, parent/carer and teacher rights and responsibilities.  The school values are:

  • Respect for self, others and the environment
  • Lifelong learning
  • Tolerance and acceptance
  • Honesty and integrity
  • Diversity of background, beliefs and abilities
  • Valued traditions and latest innovations.

Cairns High Five

Integral to ensuring effective teaching and learning in each and every classroom are the Cairns High Five:

  • Be punctual
  • Be prepared
  • Be positive
  • Be productive
  • Be polite

Expectations, consequences and wellbeing

The responsible behaviour and wellbeing plan clearly defines what is considered a major or minor incident, and what type of consequences may be most appropriate. For most major consequences the principal’s decision is based on individual factors and a consideration of the findings of fact.

The behaviour plan includes information relating to student absences (truancy) and also uniform issues. These policy documents also exist separately. 

A range of wellbeing strategies are listed including pastoral care structure, case management, leadership and positive recognition systems.

Last reviewed 02 December 2019
Last updated 02 December 2019