​​What is Positive Behaviour for Learning?

Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L) is a whole-school framework that promotes positive behaviour across a school and helps schools develop safe and supportive learning environments.

Woodridge State High School implements the PB4L framework to make sure all students are explicitly taught the expected behaviours and establish clear and consistent boundaries. Staff take a proactive, preventative approach to ensure all students receive the appropriate level of support to help them to be successful at school. Student outcomes are monitored so identified students can receive additional support when needed, and a minority of students can access intensive support to enable them to engage successfully at school.

Put simply:


What is the PB4L whole-school approach?



How do we foster student wellbeing?

The explicit and systematic teaching of social-emotional learning (SEL) competencies to students has been shown to decrease emotional distress and behavioural problems and increase academic scores. SEL helps students manage emotions, set goals, get along with others and make responsible decisions.

The PBL framework provides the ideal vehicle for teaching identified SEL competencies. Schools teaching SEL within a prevention-focused continuum of supports, such as PBL, have reported reduced rates of bullying, increased sense of school safety, improvements in students' emotional regulation and greater staff and student wellbeing.


What is trauma-informed practice?

The PB4L framework supports schools to become trauma-informed by increasing awareness of the effects of trauma on students' learning, wellbeing and behaviour, including attendance, engagement, relationships with others, academic achievement and behaviour. This awareness includes being mindful of avoiding re-traumatisation and looking beyond the immediate or 'surface' behaviours.

Woodridge State High School uses the trauma-informed approach which provides universal support to all students and are sensitive to individual needs, addressing student needs holistically and working in partnership with caregivers and agencies to provide evidence-based interventions for students who are experiencing difficulties associated with complex trauma.

PB4L fosters safe, positive, consistent and predictable environments, which are foundational to a trauma-informed approach. Challenges in relation to behaviour, mental health, academic success and social issues are best addressed using an integrated approach focused on the whole child.

Research shows that many students have experienced or are still experiencing early trauma. The high prevalence of trauma underlines the importance of a whole-school approach, which assumes that all students will benefit from support, taking into consideration emotional, academic and behavioural responses. In addition, an awareness amongst all staff of the prevalence and effects of trauma, and the importance of a positive school environment, is the foundation for effective trauma-informed support.

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What are our restorative practices?

PB4L provides a framework for schools to nurture students by providing them with meaningful opportunities for improving social and emotional skills, such as recognising and managing emotions, developing caring and concern for others, making responsible decisions, establishing positive relationships and handling challenging situations in a constructive way.

All staff members at Woodridge State High School work together to establish and maintain a positive school climate. All adults communicate, teach, and model the positive behaviours they expect students to exhibit in the classroom and school throughout the day. By setting expectations, teaching students to meet those expectations and regularly reinforcing appropriate behaviours, schools see fewer incidents of inappropriate behaviour and more time spent on teaching and learning.

PB4L uses restorative practices such as correcting behaviour calmly and in a manner that demonstrates that the student is safe and supported at school, viewing inappropriate behaviour as an instructional opportunity and using consequences that promote student self-reflection.

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How does PB4L help to prevent bullying?

PB4L is based on the belief that all students should have access to the supports needed to prevent the development and continued use of problem behaviours, including bullying. PB4L places emphasis on the behaviour rather than the student, therefore, labels such as “bully" or “victim" are considered unhelpful, with the focus instead directed towards describing behaviour specifically and in relation to the setting in which it occurs (for example, “name calling in the playground before school").

PB4L takes a school-wide approach to bully prevention by teaching:

  • what bullying looks like
  • what to do before and when bullying behaviour is seen
  • how to teach others what to do
  • how to reduce the effectiveness of bullying through establishment of a positive school environment.

Research shows that investing in the following proactive activities leads to improvements in positive school environments:

  1. A school-wide approach to teaching the social skills needed for success at school.
  2. An emphasis on teaching and learning within a positive school and classroom culture.
  3. Delivery of quality instruction to maximise academic success for all students.
  4. Monitoring of student learning and behaviour through continuous active supervision.
  5. High rates of positive acknowledgement for academic and social success.
  6. Engagement of all staff, students, parents and the wider community.
  7. Multi-year and multi-component approaches to implementation.
  8. Modelling of positive social behaviour and values by adults.

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The content above has been adapted from here:

Last reviewed 18 January 2023
Last updated 18 January 2023