Promoting Positive School Climate in Schools
The most effective way for school communities to ensure the best possible outcomes in support of children and youth, is to use a comprehensive approach. Comprehensive School Health is an internationally recognized framework. The Ontario Ministry of Education supports this comprehensive approach with Foundations for a Healthy School which suggests that schools implement activities under the following five components in order to effectively address a health-related topic, (e.g. promoting positive mental health).
Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
Offering a wide range of opportunities for students to learn, practise and promote positive and healthy behaviours. Visit our Educators pages for more information, lesson plans, curriculum supports and resources to support classroom teaching:
- For Elementary Educators
- For Secondary Educators
- To support staff who are teaching curriculum related to student well-being consider workshops, conferences or inviting field experts to speak at a professional development day.
School and Classroom Leadership
School and classroom leadership focuses on creating a positive classroom and school environment by identifying shared goals and priorities that are responsive to the needs of the school community.
The following example is a strategy that could assist your school in promoting school and classroom leadership:
- Promote a strengths-based approach that supports increasing students’ developmental assets
- Showcase character education/values awards at monthly assemblies.
Student engagement refers to the extent to which students identify with and value their learning; feel a sense of belonging at school; and are informed about, engaged with and empowered to participate in and lead academic and non-academic activities.
The following are examples of strategies that could assist you in engaging students:
- Playground Activity Leaders in Schools (P.A.L.S.) – This is a playground leadership program for elementary schools that encourages all children to participate in activities regardless of their gender, size, or ability. Dedicated school staff are trained to supervise the program and junior and intermediate students are trained to act as playground activity leaders for younger students. The P.A.L.S. leaders will plan and lead fun and safe activities on the playground. Contact the health unit for more information.
- Advocate for youth-led initiatives.
- Invite students to share their perspectives when decisions are being made about school policies programs and initiatives that promote a positive learning environment.
Social and Physical Environments
Healthy, safe and caring social and physical environments support learning and contribute to the positive cognitive, emotional, social and physical development of students.
The following are examples of strategies that could assist you in promoting healthy social and physical environments at your school.
- Providing physical activity equipment for students to use outdoors
- Involving students in designating a quiet place to practice stress management techniques, (e.g. build a peace garden, relaxation room, lounge)
- Catch a positive act (students recognized for positive behaviour).
Home, School and Community Partnerships
Home, school and community partnerships engage parents, extended family, school staff, child care and family support programs and community groups in a mutually beneficial way to support, enhance and promote opportunities for learning and well-being. Community partnerships provide consultation, resources and services to support staff, students, and families.
The following are examples of strategies that could assist you in promoting home, school and community partnerships at your school:
Have additional questions?
Contact Health Connection: 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 or email.
Are you concerned about a student and/or would like additional information related to counselling or community supports? Find out where to get help.
If you would like assistance in developing an action plan for this topic, contact your SMDHU Healthy Schools public health nurse through Health Connection by calling 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520.