Newcastle High School

Quality education in a caring environment

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Positive Behaviour for Learning

Newcastle High School is very proud of its happy and safe learning environment - all students are expected to adhere to the Department of Education and Training (DET) Core Rules.

PBL Strategy

Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL) has been adopted with the core values of Respect, Responsibility and Participation. It is expected that all students proudly work together to promote these core values.

Newcastle High School has developed new policies for Behaviour Expectations and Reward Systems. Behaviour that infringes on the safety of others, such as harassment, bullying and illegal or anti-social behaviour of any kind, will not be tolerated. The following process indicates action that may be taken when poor behaviour is displayed:

  1. Classroom teacher identifies behaviour and works with the student to resolve it.
  2. Head Teacher and the classroom teacher address the situation and try to resolve it, for example, through parental contact.
  3. Deputy referral - the DP and the Executive resolve the problem through discipline and welfare processes.

Newcastle High School recognises that the vast majority of students promote positive behavior throughout their schooling. The Gotcha System rewards students when they are ‘caught doing the right thing'. Students receive a Gotcha slip identifying their Respectful, Responsible or Participative behaviour. The slip goes into a weekly draw to win prizes at Assembly. This recognition of positive behavior allows us to focus on building positive, productive relationships for students in their learning environment.

Local businesses, the school canteen and supporters of the school assist us in the recognition of positive behavior by providing gift vouchers and rewards to continue our positive focus. We gratefully acknowledge their contribution in our monthly bulletin to parents and the community.

The Newcastle High School Academic Awards have been updated to reflect excellent academic achievements while at school. Students can work toward certificates that can be displayed in their resume.

It is expected that the playground is a safe and great part of the school. Clear signage explains expectations in Passive and Active areas, the Canteen and in Bus Lines. The following map indicates the various playground areas in the school as well as Out of Bounds areas. At break times, students should not enter the building without teacher permission.

PBL Update

Staff and students have made great progress with the Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL) initiative, over the last four years and we are now in a period of further consolidation. Each fortnight, staff and students undertake a focus lesson which introduces or reinforces areas or components of the program. Below is an outline of some of the key areas or achievements which have already been established. 

PBL is based around Respect, Responsibility and Participation of everybody, everywhere and all the time.

The school community (staff, students and parents) developed a set of expectations for how we show each of these values in different facets of our school life. We have worked to reinforce expectations

  • In the playground

Active areas, Passive areas, the Canteen and Bus area display expected behaviours and actions that benefit all school members.

Our fortnightly assembly

Our assemblies provide our school with regular communication, feedback and recognition of student achievement. They allow us to monitor and promote attendance and uniform and bring a sense of community to our school.

The Gotcha System

This system recognises positive aspects of learning and behaviour around our school. It is aimed at regularly recognising those who are contributing by meeting the expectations which were set up by our school community. Two GOTCHA rewards are made each week on assembly from all those collected over the past week and students from each year are acknowledged at the end of each term for the number of GOTCHAs they receive.

  • Classroom Posters

These posters outline key expectations which will promote learning for all members of our school. These emphasise respect, responsibility and participation as it is exhibited in our daily classroom routines.

Our Behaviour Matrix

This matrix is displayed in each classroom and aims to guide students and staff to resolve issues which are impacting upon their school experience. At each step, students will work with staff to resolve problems before they compound. At each level, the key features of PBL are emphasised and there is a focus on communicating actively and both staff and students moving on.


PBL relies on data and information gathered from all members of the school community. This may be in the form of feedback or questionnaires given in lessons or surveys and written comments. The PBL team of the school uses this information to guide its actions and this ensures that you have a say in things which may affect your learning.

Wet weather arrangements

To guide the school in the safest and most productive practice in wet weather PBL has clarified that all students are expected to remain under cover during weather which has been designated as "wet". An announcement will be made by the Head Teacher on duty before breaks to clarify if wet weather arrangements are in place. In these situations:

  • Students may choose to be outside under covered walkways or in the canteen (they are supervised by the canteen teacher and Snr exec.)
  • Yr7&8 middle floor C block, Yr 9& 10 top floor A block, Yr 11&12 bottom floor B block

PBL lessons

The lessons delivered every two weeks on Thursdays of Week 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 offer an opportunity to focus on key areas that impact on learning. Staff and students have an opportunity to discuss issues and initiatives and this allows us to set specific targets for our school which will benefit all. This is a forum which will allow individual students to raise concerns, needs or issues that may affect the entire school. Active feedback with your teacher is encouraged and your ideas and concerns will be passed on to the PBL team.