The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all students and members of our school community understand:
Laburnum Primary School is committed to providing a safe, secure and stimulating learning environment for all students. We understand that students reach their full potential only when they are happy, healthy and safe, and that a positive school culture helps to engage students and support them in their learning. Our school acknowledges that student wellbeing and student learning outcomes are closely linked.
The objective of this policy is to support our school to create and maintain a safe, supportive and inclusive school environment consistent with our school’s values.
This policy applies to all school activities, including camps and excursions.
1. School Profile
Laburnum Primary School was established in 1964 and is set in an attractive bushland setting which flows naturally into the parkland of Blacks Walk, part of Blackburn Creek. The grounds are approximately 2.8 hectares in area. As a result of the 2018 School Review, and with community input, the school's vision and values were renewed. Our vision is Learn - Thrive - Contribute and the school's values are Respect, Integrity, Resilience and Curiosity.
Laburnum P.S. is a child safe school and all staff are expected to play an important role in ensuring a child safe environment. The school’s child safety practices, including the child safety code of conduct.
As of May 2022, the current enrolment is 713, organised into 32 classes, with 42 teaching staff, 3 principal class and 9 education support staff. The staff profile is well-balanced, with a mix of experienced and newer-to-the-profession teachers in each team. The proportion of students with a language background other than English (LBOTE) has been increasing over recent years. Currently, 45% of students have English as an Additional Language (EAL) and speak another language at home, and more than half of these were born in Australia. The backgrounds of students reflect the cultural and social diversity of the local community.
Our students enjoy outstanding facilities, including air-conditioned classrooms with wireless technology. The school is well-maintained and core buildings have been extended and modernised. Some relocatable classrooms assist us to manage enrolments, and these are well-blended into the existing provision. School facilities include a stadium sized hall, a modern community centre, a contemporary resource centre, a heritage listed performing arts centre, Visual Arts room, Out of School Hours Care Centre, a new school-funded STEM Centre and extensive play areas. Playgrounds include a synthetic grass oval, shaded areas and marked court areas. Many of the school improvements are due to the ongoing support of the community, through active fundraising.
Laburnum P.S. has worked to develop rigorous expectations and support structures to provide consistent high quality teaching and learning practices. The 2018 - 2021 school strategic plan is the foundation of the staff professional learning plan. Laburnum became a Victorian Professional Learning Communities (PLC) school in 2018, and teachers plan and work collaboratively to assess, monitor and track student achievement. Teachers participate in Peer Observation and established mentoring and induction programs.
The school has an established leadership team that supports teams of teachers to implement school-wide consistent approaches to wellbeing and academic learning.
The school’s curriculum framework incorporates the Victorian Curriculum, with a strong emphasis on Literacy and Numeracy. Specialist programs include Literacy Intervention, Music, Visual Arts, Physical Education, Library and Languages (Spanish). The eLearning program is designed to equip students with the essential competencies for learning in the 21st century using a range of devices. These include iPads, netbooks, 3D printers and large screen technologies.
A broad enrichment program includes a range of extra-curricular offerings, including an extensive music tuition program and Science-based activities. Year 4, 5 and 6 students have the opportunity to participate in school camps. The student leadership program includes Junior School Council and captaincy positions for Year 6 students. A formal student leadership program is taught in Years 5 and 6. Across the school, we operate a Buddies program and cross-age teams.
2. School Values
Our agreed whole school values are:
We care for ourselves, others and the environment
We are kind, accepting and understanding
We are honest and trustworthy
We are fair to everyone
We have a positive attitude
We learn from our experiences and move forward
We are eager to know and learn
We inquire, question and challenge
Our school vision is:
Learn * Thrive * Contribute
Everyone actively learning, thriving and contributing
These values were implemented at the beginning of 2018. Students learn to understand what these values mean in the classroom, playground and community through the Ready to Learn program, which takes place with a 3-week intensive program at the beginning of the school year and followed up regularly, including at the beginning of each term.
3. Engagement Strategies
Laburnum Primary School has developed a range of strategies to promote engagement, an inclusive and safe environment, positive behaviour, and respectful relationships for all students in our school. We recognise the importance of student friendships and peer support in helping children and students feel safe and less isolated. We acknowledge that some students may need extra social, emotional or educational support at school, and that the needs of students will change over time as they grow and learn.
A summary of the universal (whole of school), targeted (year group specific) and individual engagement strategies used by our school is included below:
Universal: Strategies which are in place for all students
Targeted: Strategies which are in place for groups of students as per their needs
Intensive/Individual: Strategies which are in place for individual students as per their needs
The school implements the School Wide Positive Behaviour Support (SWPBS) and Response to Intervention (RTI) frameworks, which include programs and interventions such as:
LPS Positive Behaviours Matrix
Professional Learning Communities
Ready to Learn program
Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships
Sports/Health & Wellbeing
Whole School Assemblies
Education Suport Porgrams
Human Development/Health Education
Individual Learning Plans
Junior School Council
Prep – Year 5 Transition
Social Skills group
Transition Programs – Kindergarten & Year 6
Attendance Improvement Plans
Behaviour Support Plans
Speech Therapy Assistance (STA)
Student Integration Support
Student Support Group meetings
Student Support Services (DET Inner East regional resource)
Classrooms are open for students from 8:50am each morning. Parents are welcome to accompany their children into the classrooms. This encourages students to greet the teacher and each other before organising themselves to be ready for learning prior to the 9am bell.
The school follows this evidence-based approach that is structured around appropriate levels of stimulation (e.g. complexity and colour), individualisation (e.g. ownership, flexibility and connection) and naturalness (e.g. light, temperature, and air quality). The research found these factors can account for a 16% variation in learning progress across one year.
The school has eSmart accreditation. Year 6 students complete an eSmart Digital Licence program. Students are provided with eSmart information through Digital Technology units of work. Guest speakers have provided information to students, staff and parents.
The school runs a range of extracurricular programs and activities for students, before school and during lunch times. These currently include State School Spectacular, choir, Library, school bands, Joggers Club, Spanish Club and Art Club. Extensive in-school music tuition is also offered for Years 1 – 6 students by private tutors within the school day. Extracurricular offerings are updated each year on the school website and in LPS eNews.
These expectations are a set of overarching school-wide social skills that are based around our school values of Respect, Integrity, Curiosity and Resilience.
These school-wide expected behaviours are explicitly taught, modelled, practised and acknowledged by all teachers across the school. Signage is found around the school to prompt teachers to positively reinforce these behaviours, as well as prompting students.
Throughout the school year, all teachers review a checklist of universal strategies that promote positive behaviours and success within the classroom, such as classroom layout, daily routines, visual schedules and other preventative elements. This checklist serves as a valuable tool to guide individual and whole school professional development, including peer observations.
The first three weeks of the school year are dedicated to the Ready to Learn program. Classroom expectations are developed with the students in each class and time is spent building relationships from student to student and student to teacher. Teachers use this time to conference with students in key areas of the curriculum.
This program was designed by Melbourne University and forms the core, explicit teaching of Wellbeing at all levels. The resource is a DET resource. Content areas include; Emotional Literacy, Personal Strengths, Positive Coping, Problem Solving, Stress Management, Help Seeking, Gender and Identity and Positive Gender Relations.
The school solves playground and classroom disputes using the Restorative Practice model. Based on a justice model, the focus is on repairing the relationship and providing opportunities for both parties to explain what has happened. A set of prompts is used by the teacher. Staff have received professional learning in this model and will continue to have this training updated.
The school runs an extensive Specialist Curriculum program. Students have Specialist lessons for Art, PE, Music, Spanish and Library.
Sports/Health & Wellbeing programs & events
The school offers a range of interschool sporting opportunities to promote wider community engagement and specific sporting skill development, including swimming, cross country and Year 6 seasonal sport. Health and wellbeing is enhanced in classrooms through mindfulness activities and class circle time.
During term 3, STARS (Student Teams Are Really Special) sessions run every third week. Students from P-6 are placed in a STARS group and allocated a STARS teacher. Activities are run with assistance from Year 6 students. Year 6 leaders work with a Year 6 teacher to develop the activities. Focus is on fun, engaging activities which are environmentally sustainable. STARS groupings remain the same from year to year, with the exception of new students being added to the groups.
Awards are presented weekly at assembly by class and specialist teachers. Student awards are aligned to the school values of Respect, Integrity, Curiosity and Resilience.
Whole School Assembly
Weekly assembly is usually held on Friday afternoons. Parents and families are welcome to attend. Assembly is led by Year 6 Leaders and provides the school community to engage with a range of things happening around the school.
Buddies - Prep – Year 6
From terms 2 - 4, Prep and Year 6 classes meet weekly for a Buddies session. All Prep students are allocated a Year 6 Buddy. Buddy sessions have a focus on building relationships and Year 6 students mentoring their younger buddy.
EAL (English as an Additional Language) students are supported via their classroom program and additional teacher training. Teachers use a range of resources, including the EAL continuum, to support the learning of students who are new to English. Eligible students may attend a language school, such as Blackburn English Language School for an intensive English program. All cultural and linguistically diverse students are supported to feel safe and included in our school.
The Alannah and Madeleine Foundation purple ‘Friendship Seat’ sits in the sensory garden near the office ramp. This can be used as a meeting place or for students who are looking for a friend during play times.
Laburnum PS has an extensive kitchen garden located behind the Art room. Each class has an elected Green Team representative. Green Team members meet during lunch time once a week to care and maintain the garden, developing their knowledge and understanding of sustainability and environment. The Green Team is supported by a teacher and parent volunteers.
Human Development/Health Education
An external provider delivers human development lessons to Year 5 and 6 students every second year. Family nights for students in Years 1 - 4 are also held.
Students who are working 6 months or more below the expected level in Maths and English will have an Individual Learning Plan devised by their classroom teacher. Individual Learning Plans are reviewed on a 5-weekly basis. Individual Learning Plans are devised with one smart goal and list the ways in which the student will be supported to achieve the goal. Students provide the teacher with input about the things which help them to learn.
Laburnum Primary School is an accredited provider of education under the International Student Program (ISP). The ISP enables approved international students to enrol in accredited Victorian government schools. Students enrolled under the Department’s International student program are supported in accordance with our legal obligations and Department guidelines at: International Student Program
Junior School Council members are elected each year by their class mates to represent them at regular lunchtime meetings. The Council organises whole school events, such as Laburnum’s Got Talent, and decides where funds raised from donations should be allocated.
The Life Education van visits Laburnum annually. Programs based on healthy living, positive choices and relationships are delivered by a Life Education educator for P - Year 5 students.
Students identified as requiring intervention in English are supported by an Intervention program. This intervention may be small group or individualised to cater for targeted needs of students.
We provide a positive and respectful learning environment for our students who identify as LGBTIQ+ and follow the Department’s policy on LGBTIQ+ students.
Out of Home Care Supports
All students in Out of Home Care are supported in accordinace with the Department’s policy on Supporting Students in Out-of-Home Care, including being appointed a Learning Mentor, having an Individual Learning Plan and a Student Support Group (SSG) and being referred to Student Support Services for an Educational Needs Assessment.
Year 5 students nominate for a Peer Mediator role at the beginning of the year. Students who are selected take part in Peer Mediation training (provided by an external agency) which supports them in the role. Students are then rostered onto lunch time duty in the East playground. They support younger students to resolve problems or help students to find friends. This program is overseen by a Year 5 teacher.
The targeted and short term social skills groups focus on a variety of topics, including interpersonal skills, problem solving and conflict resolution. Students who participate in this small group often develop a stronger sense of belonging to a social group and a more positive attitude towards school. This group intervention is run by our Play Therapist.
Students in Years 5 and 6 take part in a Student Leadership program to help develop their leadership skills. Year 6 students nominate for a range of leadership positions during term 4 in Year 5. Students write speeches outlining their leadership qualities and present these to the Senior School cohort. Students from the Senior School and teachers vote and students are selected. Year 6 leaders have a range of roles which they carry out during their final year.
Students with Disability
Students with a disability are supported to be able to engage fully in their learning and school activities in accordance with the Department’s policy on Students with Disability, such as through reasonable adjustments to support access to learning programs, consultation with families and, where required, students support groups and individual education plans.
Transition Programs for Prep and Year 6 students
Transition programs run throughout the year for Prep and Year 6 students. Teachers in these year levels are involved in the process, including speaking with Kindergarten and Year 7 teachers. Information for parents, including information evenings is provided. Kindergarten students visit LPS during term 4. Year 6 students also visit their new high schools during term 4, as well as engaging in our ‘Step Up’ week for secondary school readiness.
Transition: Prep - Year 5
During term 4, students from Prep – Year 5 take part in the school wide transition program. Students spend several sessions moving up to the year ahead, giving students a chance to meet new teachers, experience a new level, ask questions and find out what their new school year might be like. Teachers use this time to observe groupings and provide feedback for class selection.
Behaviour Support Plans (BSPs)
Students who require support to manage their behaviour will have a BSP devised by the class teacher. The plan outlines details about the student, the behaviour being targeted and strategies to support the student. Plans are developed in consultation with parents and details of strategies are provided to all teachers involved with the student, e.g. Specialist Teachers. BSPs are reviewed termly.
Education Support Staff (ESS)
The school has a wide range of ESS who support students across the school. These include Integration Aides who work with funded students, administration staff, first aid officer, ICT support, multicultural aide.
The school employs a multicultural aide to support school administration, parents and students speaking Mandarin, and ensures Laburnum meets the requirements of the DET International Student Program.
The school employs a Play Therapist to support students with additional social, emotional, behavioural or learning needs.
Speech Therapy Assistance (STA)
A speech pathologist attends school weekly to design targeted, individualised language programs for identified students. This 1:1 program is then implemented throughout the week by Educational Support staff.
Student Support Group Meetings (SSGs)
Students who are deemed to be at risk with an aspect of their academic, social or emotional development will have a SSG meeting once per term. These meetings involve parents, class teacher, assistant principal and any other professionals who may support the student (Student Support Services Officers for example). Parents provide an update on how the child is going in the home setting, class teachers discuss how the child is progressing in the classroom and goals and strategies are discussed to support the student. Information about available services might be provided to families.
Student Support Services
This DET resource includes psychologists, social workers, speech pathologists and other external professionals to support student engagement and wellbeing, academically and behaviourally. Information regarding individual students is collected from parents and teachers to inform possible assessments, interventions and supports.
PLC – data analysis
Each year level meets weekly to discuss and plan for the needs of all students. Focusing on the areas of Reading, Writing, Spelling and Mathematics, a range of data is collected through classroom assessments. Teachers then analyse and use this data to plan teaching to align with the Victorian Curriculum and the needs of students.
6 months below expected level – ILP
Any students who are working six months or more below the expected level in Maths or English will have an ILP (Individual Learning Plan) prepared. The ILP will have a SMART goal for the student to meet and a range of strategies to support the student. ILPs are provided to and discussed with parents/carers. ILPs are reviewed every 5 weeks.
Behaviour Support Plans
Any students who require support to manage their behaviour will have a BSP (Behaviour Support Plan). BSPs list behaviours to target and strategies to support the student. BSPs are written with input from parents/carers and updated termly.
Parents of students identified as having complex learning or wellbeing needs will have a termly SSG (Student Support Group) meeting with the class teacher and Assistant Principal. Other relevant professionals may be involved in these meetings. These meetings allow parents to provide an overview of how their child is going at home, including any external services the child may be accessing. The class teacher provides an update of how the student is going in the school setting. Together, goals and strategies are discussed.
The school employs a range of Learning Consultants to work with staff. Learning Consultants are employed to build staff capacity in areas aligning to the school AIP (Annual Implementation Plan). Learning Consultants may present to staff during Student Free Days, Professional Practice Days, after school Professional Learning sessions or during PLC meetings.
Attitudes to School Survey
Students in Years 4-6 complete the Attitudes to School Survey. The survey results provide data about student engagement and wellbeing. This information is used to plan programs, interventions and staff professional learning.
Parents & Carers
All members of our school community have a right to experience a safe and supportive school environment. We expect that all students, staff, parents and carers treat each other with respect and dignity. Our school’s Statement of Values highlights the rights and responsibilities of members of our community. The Respect for School Staff Policy outlines expectations for appropriate interactions with school staff.
Students who may have a complaint or concern about something that has happened at school are encouraged to speak to their parents or carers and approach a trusted teacher or a member of the school leadership team. Further information about raising a complaint or concern is available in our Concerns & Complaints Policy.
Behavioural expectations of students, staff and families are grounded in our school’s Statement of Values/Student code of conduct. Responses to alleged bullying behaviour will be consistent with Laburnum Primary School’s Bullying Prevention Policy.
When a student acts in breach of the behaviour standards of our school community, Laburnum Primary School will institute a staged response, consistent with the Department’s Student Engagement and Inclusion Guidelines. Where appropriate, parents will be informed about the inappropriate behaviour and the disciplinary action taken by teachers and other school staff.
Disciplinary measures may be used as part of a staged response to inappropriate behaviour in combination with other engagement and support strategies to ensure that factors that may have contributed to the student’s behaviour are identified and addressed. Disciplinary measures at our school will be applied fairly and consistently. Students will always be provided with an opportunity to be heard, using the Restorative Practice model.
Suspension, expulsion and restrictive interventions are measures of last resort and may only be used in situations consistent with Department policy, available at:
In line with Ministerial Order 1125, no student aged 8 or younger will be expelled without the approval of the Secretary of the Department of Education and Training.
The Principal of Laburnum Primary School is responsible for ensuring all suspensions and expulsions are recorded on CASES21.
Corporal punishment is prohibited by law and will not be used in any circumstance at our school.
Laburnum Primary School values the input of parents and carers, and we will strive to support families to engage in their child’s learning and build their capacity as active learners. We aim to be partners in learning with parents and carers in our school community.
We work hard to create successful partnerships with parents and carers by:
Laburnum Primary School will collect data each year to understand the frequency and types of wellbeing issues that are experienced by our students so that we can measure the success or otherwise of our school based strategies and identify emerging trends or needs.
Sources of data that will be assessed on an annual basis include:
This policy will be communicated to our school community in the following ways:
Our school will also ensure it follows the mandatory parent/carer notification requirements with respect to suspensions and expulsions outlined in the Department’s policies at:
Further information and resources
The following Department of Education and Training policies are relevant to this Student Engagement and Wellbeing Policy:
The following school policies are also relevant to this Student Wellbeing and Engagement Policy:
POLICY REVIEW AND APPROVAL
Policy last reviewed
School Council – June 2022
Parent via LPS eNews June 2022
Next scheduled review date
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