Why be a Friendly School?
Healthy students learn better. For this reason, Friendly Schools uses a strengths-based approach that focuses on what creates positive health and wellbeing rather than risk factors or causes of ill health.
Building capacity leads to ongoing improvement. Friendly Schools provides schools with the information and mechanisms necessary to build sufficient implementation capacity to ensure success of the initiative and reinforce sustainability over time.
The whole-school community will experience the difference. Research has proven that multi-component, whole-school initiatives involving the entire school community are more likely to reduce bullying behaviour than single-component programs. The Friendly Schools whole-school approach process enables schools to implement current and robust evidence-based policy and practice to enhance social and emotional learning and reduce bullying among students.
Australian school communities on the Friendly Schools journey have reported the following great results:
- stronger leadership and a more supportive school climate
- consistent policies and practices to deal with bullying behaviour
- professional development for and improved wellbeing among staff members
- common whole-school understandings of both the symptoms and consequences of bullying
- approachable teachers and effective monitoring systems
- integration of social and emotional learning into the school curriculum
- behavioural support for students who bully others
- student bystanders with the capacity to stand up against bullying
- parental involvement in the social and emotional issues facing children
- a safe and friendly physical environment