Learning to compliment

An innovative program aimed at tackling the issue of bullying at school has resulted in a significant improvement in students’ relationships with their classmates.

The program developed by SMG Pastoral Care Worker Lia Peterson with the help of a school counsellor.

Each day students wrote compliments about one another and placed them in bags. At the end of the day students would retrieve the bag with their name on it and read the compliments inside.

“Students were given new words and ideas that were positive in nature, and not negative,” Ms Peterson said.

“They looked for good things to say, rather than negative things, helping to change their thinking and the way they looked at others.”

Ms Peterson said the simple and innovative approach had a positive impact with students, and other teachers at the school were hoping to adopt the ‘compliments bag’ idea for their classes.

“The students have been empowered and have improved their capabilities and connection with their peers,” she said.

“The most notable change as a result of this program has been a significant improvement in their relationships, especially with their language.

“It has promoted respectful and meaningful interactions in the playground.”

Long Street Primary School has only had a Pastoral Care Worker for 12 months, after successfully applying for NSCP funds.

Staff have seen the changes in the school already saying, “Lisa has been a great support for staff, children and families from what I have seen.

“She has been doing fantastic activities with students to try and promote a positive change.”

And, “Positive relationships with students has improved student learning and wellbeing.”