Productive and trusting relationships between teachers and students lead to more positive outcomes in students’ academic and social development. Students learn more effectively and are more engaged when they trust their teacher to be fair, respectful and supportive.
Inclusive education practice
Inclusive education creates schools that are supportive and engaging places that help students to learn in a safe, supportive, inclusive and disciplined learning environment. Such an approach better equips students to maintain peer relationships, uninterrupted study, transport arrangements and a sense of inclusion and connectedness with their school.
FlexiSpaces: Doing things differently to get students back on track
Many students experience challenges at various junctures in their school life, and for most students, remaining at their school provides their best chance of success. Students who remain at a mainstream school are able to maintain peer relationships, transport arrangements, uninterrupted study and a sense of inclusion and connectedness with their school community.
The Department of Education is working to build the capabilities of schools to engage and re-engage as many young people as possible. As part of this, the Department is implementing the FlexiSpace trial to embed an inclusive, high quality and bespoke learning environment for students at-risk of disengaging. Queensland’s 2018 FlexiSpace trial supported two State High Schools to reshape existing spaces into modern, high-quality spaces, and deliver individualised and high quality teaching and learning strategies to reignite students’ love of learning. Watch an overview of the FlexiSpace trial on YouTube.
Students in need of additional support are eligible to access the FlexiSpace on a case by case basis, ensuring that attempts to make suitable adjustments in class, or the wider school setting are undertaken in the first instance. The FlexiSpace is just one of schools’ many strategies and approaches for supporting students who are at risk of disengaging. Students who access the space continue to access some subjects with the rest of their peers in ‘mainstream’ classes, and are be supported to return to mainstream classes full-time when appropriate, to continue their education.
Mabel Park State High School and Glenmore State High School are the two schools participating in the trial. The first of their kind in Australia, FlexiSpaces represent a new way for mainstream schools to support students who are most at-risk of disengaging. The trial is showing early signs of success, with both sites reporting significant improvements to attendance, retention, inclusion and engagement.
To see the FlexiSpace trial in action and for more videos about the project, go to the Youth Engagement YouTube channel.
Safe, supported, connected environments
Students engage more when teachers build positive, warm, encouraging relationships with them. Teachers create a supportive environment when they:
- get to know their students and build their trust
- encourage learning and minimise isolation, rejection, failure and pressure
- listen to students and show interest both verbally and non-verbally
- provide advice or referral to qualified staff
- understand students’ cultural, social, economic backgrounds and their mental
- ealth, health, family circumstances, disability, language, academic achievement and learning needs
- discover interests, strengths, weaknesses, needs, level of readiness, learning styles and preferences
- create a learning environment where everyone feels included.
There are also several whole-school approaches that can help schools in dealing with classroom and behaviour management, recognition of difference and student wellbeing and development of student autonomy.
Every Day Counts
Research shows that higher student attendance is associated with higher student achievement. Every Day Counts is a statewide initiative designed to improve student attendance at school through giving schools, parents, caregivers and the community access to resources.
P-12 curriculum, assessment and reporting framework
The P-12 curriculum, assessment and reporting framework documents requirements for each Queensland school in delivering the curriculum from Prep to Year 12 to ensure all students can learn and achieve in a safe, supportive and inclusive environment. Supporting guides provide schools with additional information and advice to help them meet requirements for each subject or learning area.
Learning and wellbeing framework
The Learning and wellbeing framework (PDF, 543KB) guides schools in developing a school-wide, positive learning culture that enhances student mental health and emotional and social wellbeing. The framework supports all Queensland schools to:
- recognise the importance of wellbeing to the learning process
- develop a rich school culture and positive ethos that creates a sense of belonging and self-responsibility
- embed personal and social capabilities within the general curriculum
- improve educational outcomes for all students.
Supporting student health and wellbeing policy
Learning and wellbeing are inextricably linked so this framework is designed to supports schools in embedding student wellbeing in all aspects of school life through connecting the learning environment, curriculum and pedagogy, policies, procedures and partnerships for learning and life.
Parent and community engagement framework
The Parent and Community Engagement Framework supports schools to strengthen their engagement with students, teachers, parents and carers, support staff and community and business groups to maximise student learning outcomes. The framework’s main elements are:
- learning partnerships
- community collaboration
Inclusive education policy statement
Inclusive education (PDF, 331KB) ensures that schools are supportive and engaging places for all school community members. This approach builds communities that value, celebrate and respond to diversity. Inclusive education is underpinned by respectful relationships between learners and school community members and is supported by collaborative relationships with parents and communities through communication, learning partnerships, participation and consultative decision-making.
The Autism Hub works with parents, educators, and stakeholders to ensure that support for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder is streamlined, coordinated, and responsive to individual needs. The Autism Hub is staffed by dedicated departmental officers who provide support and information to parents and educators.
Positive transitions at each stage of education provide students with the social, emotional and cognitive skills they need to remain engaged and succeed. Parents, educators, communities and specialists can work together to ensure that such transitions are smooth, supportive and positive.
Transition to Prep
The transition to primary school is one of the biggest milestones in a child’s life. A positive experience will build a child’s confidence and encourage them to engage in education throughout their schooling years. The 'Supporting successful transitions: school decision-making tool' provides a framework to help schools identify ways to make sure they are ready to meet the needs of all children and families.
Transition to high school
The transition from primary school to high school is an important step in a young person’s life. The high school environment is substantially different from a primary school environment and some young people may require a period of adjustment along with additional support. Schools, parents and peers can all play a role in supporting students to make a smooth transition to Year 7 and to thrive in a high school setting.