School Wide Positive Behaviour

What is the School Wide Positive Behaviour Support (SWPBS) Approach?

Geelong East Primary School follows the SWPB approach. This is a whole school approach to creating an environment, which encourages effective learning through the development of a positive, calm and welcoming atmosphere. We encourage positive feedback to students often and endeavour to teach students how to behave appropriately. We recognise that learning social skills and socially acceptable behaviours is a process, which everybody moves through at a different pace. Learning appropriate social skills is seen in the same light as learning how to read or complete maths. Some people need more assistance in some areas and less in others.

“If a child doesn’t know how to read,  we teach

“If a child doesn’t know how to swim,  we teach

“If a child doesn’t know how to multiply,  we teach

“If a child doesn’t know how to drive,  we teach

“If a child doesn’t know how to behave,  ……..we teach?


Historically in schools discipline has focused mainly on reacting to specific student misbehaviour by implementing punishment-based strategies e.g. reprimands, loss of privileges, suspensions and expulsions. Research has shown that the implementation of punishment, and in the absence of other positive strategies is ineffective. Introducing, modeling, and reinforcing positive social behaviours is an important step of a student’s educational experience.

Teaching behavioural expectations and rewarding students for following them is a much more positive approach than waiting for misbehaviour to occur before responding.

Behaviour Expectation Matrix

A matrix has been co-constructed by teachers and students to identify the expected behaviours at Geelong East Primary School. The matrix includes appropriate behaviours in specific areas including:

  • Inside the school
  • In outside areas
  • Moving around the school
  • Digital

In the Classroom

At the beginning of each school year, classroom teachers work with their class (student’s voice and agency) in developing a Classroom Agreement specific to their class. This is reviewed at the beginning of every term.

In the classroom, teachers link the Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships to the School Wide Positive Behaviour matrix. This curriculum (taught in all Victorian schools) provides the opportunity to explicitly teach, model and reinforce expected behavior.

The RRRR curriculum combined with the school created matrix clearly defines the expectations throughout our school.

Every teacher utilises the Classroom Behaviour Management Flowchart which guides their response to student behaviours. Social skills are also explicity taught and linked to the matrix to reinforce expected behaviours.

Award Systems

Teachers reward and recognise students who display our school values in a variety of ways. Each teacher implements GOTCHA’s throughout the school and in their classroom. Teachers verbalise the behavior exhibited and how it links to our values when giving a GOTCHA.

Teachers can also give wristbands to children who display outstanding commitment to our values and role model them consistently. These can be worn during the school day.

Teachers also give Values awards each week noting the person in the grade who has exhibited an outstanding example of positive behavior based on our 3 values. These awards are given at assembly as the first item of celebration each week.


GOTCHAS -What are they?

The GOTCHA tokens are a vital aspect of our whole school Positive Behavior Support.

How does a student receive a GOTCHA token?

Teachers and staff hand out GOTCHA tokens in the school yard when students have displayed our school values. We like to call it “catching the positive”. This could be as simple as using kind words and kind actions in the playground.

The GOTCHA tokens are a form of acknowledgement, a simple and instant way to acknowledge the positive behavior displayed by a student. Students who receive GOTCHA tokens swap the tokens for a marble that is placed in the grade jar. When this jar is full all the children in the grade receive an award- chosen by the grade. At assembly on Friday the grades announce how many jars their grade has filled and  receive a coloured ball which goes towards the whole school award. In the past we have had a whole school picnic at Eastern Beach, a whole school Movie afternoon and a whole school disco.

Real Schools- Supporting PBS

We have formed a partnership with Real Schools commenced in 2016. In 2019 we still have access to their resources which are based on Restorative Practices. Click here for more information