Step 1: Survey students and staff

The Friendly Schools Plus resource helps schools to respond effectively to the social behaviour, strengths and needs of its students while concurrently supporting schools to review, plan, build capacity and implement critical evidence-based actions to effectively respond to these strengths and needs. This approach is critical for school improvement and long-term planning.

Friendly Schools Plus assesses students’ strengths and needs to help schools to know what to target to enhance social and emotional learning and reduce bullying.

Student and staff surveys are a reliable and relatively quick method of gaining a school community perspective on pastoral care practices or bullying related issues. To ensure school strategies meet students’ social and emotional strengths and needs, schools must determine students’ understandings, attitudes, competencies and behaviours. Schools would not implement a reading program, for example, without first assessing and understanding student reading behaviours. The same is true for social behaviours, which can vary significantly between schools. Friendly Schools Plus provides three self-administered online (or hard copy) Survey Tools to be completed by students from 10 to 17 years and their teachers. (Teachers would only complete the questionnaires for students younger than age 10.) The results from these online surveys are aggregated into school level reports to help schools determine their priorities for student social and emotional development and to guide decision-making about current and future actions implemented at a whole-school and classroom level.

More information can be found in chapter 1, page 57 of the Evidence for Practice text.