Saturday, 28 March 2015

Protective Behaviours Program at Sacred Heart

We are learning about Protective Behaviours

Protective Behaviours is a safety program recognised and used across all states in Australia by many organisations and departments (e.g. Health, Education, Police). In Term 1 at Sacred Heart, Hilary, our School Social Worker, has been delivering a wonderful program to our Years 1, 2 and 3 students with regards to how students can keep safe. Next term she will deliver this program to our Years 4,5 and 6 students. Below is an outline of the important themes of this program. It is hoped that parents will continue this important learning at home and also help develop the language introduced at school.

The first theme is:

We will discuss what a right is and learn about the responsibility we have to behave in a way that does not make others feel unsafe .
We will consider the words safe and unsafe and learn about Early Warning Signs (the way our bodies let us know something is ok or not ok). e.g. When scared, we may get  goose bumps, shiver, feel hot or cold, get a sick feeling in our tummy.
Early Warning Signs may differ from person to person.  There is no right and wrong but it is important for students to recognise what they are feeling.  They need to know the names of emotions so that they can express their feelings.  We will encourage students to use their words instead of making unsafe choices with their actions.
We will learn about ‘’yes’’ feelings and “no” feelings and how to trust instincts.  They will consider the difference between feeling safe and being safe.
To do this the students will listen to stories, play games, use circle time to talk together and engage in small group activities.  This session will be followed up by the class teacher day to day at school.


A child might feel unsafe about getting into trouble.  Discuss the difference between getting into trouble for doing something wrong and feeling unsafe, scared or hurt.  Make sure they understand that you may not like their behaviour sometimes but you still love them.
Road and water safety may be a good starting point for discussing safety.
Use the word “ safe” as part of your family’s everyday language.
Encourage your child to feel confident about showing their feelings openly. A child that is told to “Stop crying!”, “Don’t be silly” or “Don’t be scared” may learn that their feelings don’t matter.
Use teachable moments in everyday life to role model  Protective Behaviours.  Use “I feel…..” sentences yourself.  e.g. “I feel nervous because I have a job interview today. I have my early warning signs – a churning, sick feeling in my tummy.”
Talk about the difference between dobbing and telling.   Explain that If you are” dobbing” you are trying to get someone into trouble.  If you are “telling” you will have your Early Warning Signs, you may feel unsafe and so you must tell someone you trust.
Keep reminding them about their Early Warning Signs when they are telling you something. Do they feel unsafe or are they just trying to get that person into trouble?  

The second theme is:


We will talk together about this sentence and what it might mean. “We” means everybody and we will consider who could the “someone” be and what could the “anything“ be, even if it is unsafe, awful or scary.
We will revise theme 1 –  Early Warning Signs (the way our bodies let us know something is ok or not ok. “Yes” and “No” feelings.  Safe and Unsafe.


You may like to help your child to identify a network of trusted adults who will provide support and protect them when needed.



Include your child in this process rather than simply telling them who they should choose.
Such people need to be those who your child feels they could approach and ask for help at the time it is needed.
It is a good idea to let the chosen network person know they have been chosen as a trusted adult. You could go with your child to the adult and explain what a network person is – give them the job description and ask them if they would be happy to be this for your child.  Quite often the adult might be flattered, surprised and honoured by being chosen.
You might like to make a network sheet with your child  e.g. get your child to draw around their own hand, fill in names on the hand as indicated and allow your child to colour, decorate it as they wish.
Display your child’s Network with names and contact phone numbers in your home.
You might like to teach your child their address and phone number, how to use the phone, how to ring 000 and practice answering the phone. Explain an emergency is when you need help straight away.
You may also like to encourage your child to share good news with their Network People so that they are comfortable talking with them by the time and if, they need to ask for help in a difficult situation.
By talking with your child about what is happening in their life lets them know you will listen to anything even if it is a difficult or shameful thing. Let them know that even if you do not like what they have done, you will always be with them to help them manage those feelings with love.  If you do this it is much more likely your child will come to you in those difficult times, rather than trying to deal with the problem alone. Thank your child for talking with you no matter what the content of the conversation.
If your child has gone to their Network Person but still has Early Warning Signs and feels unsafe, encourage them to persist and find another Network Person.  Sometimes adults can get distracted or busy and not be able to help a child at the time.  It is rarely because they do not want to help and so your child needs to know it is ok to persist until they feel safe.  You want to feel confident that your child knows what they can do to keep themselves safe when you are not around.

I hope you enjoy talking with your child.


Monday, 16 March 2015

5 easy steps to handle big emotions

We all experience emotions. Sometimes we experience happiness, sadness, anger, frustration, excitement and joy. However, it is not always easy to control these emotions and handle them how we want to. Children, and even adults, need to be taught and modelled strategies to help understand and handle emotions; especially BIG emotions.

This is where the '5 Easy Steps to Handle Big Emotions' comes into play. Attached is an image of the poster displayed in our classrooms as a visual reminder of the steps we can take to stay cool, calm and collected.

The first step is 'Remind myself that it is never ok to hurt anyone'. This step includes both physical actions and words because both do equal damage. In high emotion situations we can forget this step and we need to always be mindful that our actions are a true reflection of who we are and what we believe is right.

The second step is 'Take 3 deep breaths or count slowly to 10'. This step gives us time to stop, think and reflect. When we are frustrated or overwhelmed we can suddenly act without thinking so this stop is vital. We can recognise our warning signs during this step like tenseness, heart rate and tight hands. Breathing and counting allow us to compose ourselves.

The third step is 'Use my words to say how I feel and what I wish to happen'. This step key to handling feelings as it helps to understand that the big emotion we are having is important and we are open to problem-solving. We may not always get our way but talking calmly can lead to a peaceful solution that is better than conflict.

The fourth step is 'Ask for help to solve the problem'. Talking openly to adults who we feel safe around really assists our problem-solving. An adult can help decide whether we need to work it out or walk away from a big feeling situation. An adult is always happy to help and most importantly listen.

The final step is 'Take time to calm down and relax'. Sometimes after all the above steps we just need some space. Having time to ourselves to process our emotions and the solutions is vital to the handling strategies. We may not always get the solution we want but that is ok and by having this time to think helps us reflect. So, give it a go and follow these steps when you are feeling overwhelmed, upset or frustrated. They may help you avoid a situation or outcome that didn't need to happen.

Mindfulness is the key!

Miss Charlotte Allen
Year 4 Teacher

What are good manners and how can I teach them?

What are good manners?

Courtesy, politeness or having good manners are all about respecting others and yourself.
How would you feel if someone:

·         talked to your friend but turned his back to you?
·         pushed you out of the way to get the seat you were about to sit on?
·         let the door slam in your face as you were about to walk through it?
·         shared your things but never shared anything of theirs?
·         never said 'please' or 'thank you'

Good manners are about considering the feelings of other people, and being the kind of person that others will like and respect.

Manners at school

·         Saying good morning/afternoon if you are walking past an adult who you know.
·         Asking if you can borrow something, not just taking.
·         Returning things that you have borrowed.
·         Waiting your turn before you speak.
·         Saying 'excuse me,' rather than pushing past someone.
·         Holding the door open for the person coming in, especially if he/she is carrying something.
·         Respecting your own and other people's property, especially school property.
·         Saying 'please' and 'thank you'.

Some activities to reinforce the skill

  • Y charts to define what good manners look like, sound like and feel .
  • Role-play using good manners/bad manners at home, school and in the wider community. Class can used thumbs-up/thumbs down strategy to signify whether good or bad manners were displayed– students explain their reasons.
  • Good manners Jar Label an empty jar with “Manners Jar”. Anytime you see a student displaying good manners put something in (marbles, cotton balls, counter). See how full it gets at the end of the week. Can the children improve each week?
  • Manner Detectives Create signs that illustrate good manners which can be used/seen around the classroom eg., “waiting your turn”, “saying please and thank you”. Students add names of students to the signs when they see them showing the good manner examples. This could also be anonymous – replace with keeping tallies. Build a good manners wall.
  • Manners from A-Z List each letter of the alphabet and challenge the children to find well-mannered phrases for each letter of the alphabet. Share with class. Class could then create a book A-Z of manners with a collection of phrases.
  • Create a track your manners chart you can encourage students to keep a track of their good manners behaviour (self-reflection).
  • Thank you notes
  • Circle Time – discuss “Using Good Manners” as well as any incidents that students have observed (positive or otherwise) in the classroom/playground.
  • Paper Bag Character Study using a paper bag, students draw a picture of a main character from a story read who does/does not show good manners (on one side of the bag) and give examples from the story (on the other side of the bag) - good activity for middle/upper primary students.

Mrs Perlini
Year 2 Teacher
Acting Assistant Principal 2015


Sunday, 15 March 2015

Active Listening and Haiku Deck in Year 4

In Year 4 we have been discussing, learning and modelling active listening. We created a Haiku Deck together to show what active listening looks like, sounds like and feels like in our classroom. Here is a link to our Haiku Deck:

We worked further on what active listening means when we are working in partners. We make sure we are looking at our partner, knee to knee, using manners and taking it in turns to talk. By doing this we are showing respect to our partner and ensuring we are listening. 

To help us with our self-control and practising the ability to actively listen, we completed a bubble challenge. This was a big test! Miss Allen blew bubbles all around us and challenged us to stay completely still as they moved around us. We had them pop on our nose, head and right in front of us and we didn't flinch, not even a tiny bit. Miss Allen was so impressed and now every time she says the word 'bubbles', instantly we are actively listening. We are Superstar Listeners!

Come and find us and ask us about Active Listening we would be very happy to model to you how it is done.

Miss Charlotte Allen and the Year Fours