Behaviour management


Positive Behaviour Learning and the Neuroscience of the Brain

Bracken Ridge State School is implementing Positive Behaviour Learning as an approach to the management of student behaviour.

Positive Behaviour for Learning, known as PBL is an evidence-based whole school systems approach that:

  • addresses the diverse academic and social needs of every student to support them to be successful
  •  supports students in early childhood settings through to senior years of schooling
  • enables schools to establish  a continuum of supports that are intensified to meet the needs of every student
  • is team driven, using a problem solving approach (data, systems and practices) that engages students, parents and all school staff
  • establishes positive social expectations for all in the school community
  • provides a framework for the school and its community to collectively support the wellbeing of every student.

When implemented well:

  •  students respond positively as they have been taught what is expected of them
  •  staff deliver consistent responses to student learning and behaviour
  • students feel safe and cared for at school. Their parents, family and community are more involved in their school
  • unproductive and challenging behaviour can be significantly reduced for most students.

At Bracken Ridge we also teach our students about the Neuroscience of the Brain. We have a particular focus on students using their Pre-frontal Cortex (PFC), rather than their Limbic System. Students learn about the benefits of using their PFC and are taught how to be mindful, decreasing the chances of them ‘flipping their lid’, or going into a limbic meltdown



We teach students the hand model to demonstrate what happens when we flip our lids, as well as the importance of using our PFC (Pre-frontal Cortex) in clear thinking and keeping ourselves up the stairs.
Students are continually are asked and can answer the following questions.
  • What part of the brain do we want to be in if we are seeking to learn?  PFC 
  • If we flip our lid, what part of the brain have we activated? Amygdala
  • What can we do if our amygdala turns itself on? Toggle (recalibrate or decompress)
Below are some diagrams, containing the language and models we are using with students. Students have a well-developed knowledge and awareness of these concepts.

We also teacher our students about the need to be in you ‘’Learning Zone’ to learn and that this might feel uncomfortable and mean that you find things difficult, but this is okay.

Below is some of the language that children are exposed to when discussing Comfort, Learning and Danger Zones.


Students are explicitly taught and can articulate that:
  • the teachers’ job is to teach;
  • student job is to learn;
  • each student is responsible for managing their own behaviour.

Ultimately we want students to consider themselves as STRONG, BRAVE and COURAGEOUS, not only with their learning but in all decisions that make in regards to everyday life.

We also specifically teach children what they can do to help quieten their limbic system before they flip their lids, or to get them back into their Learning Zone. Teaching our students about toggling.

Toggling is:
  1. being Strong enough to realise that you are not in your Learning Zone
  2. Brave enough to try to get back into your Learning Zone;
  3. Courageous enough to change the way things are to return to your Learning Zone. 
As well as teaching students about how they know if they need to toggle.
Due to:
  • Time travelling;
  • Heart beating faster;
  • Butterflies in their tummy;
  • Start talking a lot;
  • Breathing becomes faster;
  • Have trouble concentrating;
  • Feel angry;
  • Avoiding tasks.
By teaching our students to be mindful we are also:
  • helping to quieten their limbic system
  • supporting focus
  • and identifying the concept of time travel (increase student ability to stay in the moment)

Lunchtime clubs

We also strongly believe in keeping our students engaged and giving them a sense of purpose with their play. As a result we offer students the opportunity to engage in a number of lunchtime clubs, which include: supported play activities, Coding Club, Street Art, Hip Hop, Junior dance and Grasshopper Soccer.

Our school currently has a coach who is working with teachers and students on developing an understanding of mindfulness and what it means to be mindful. The coach works in classrooms supporting teachers, providing modelling and coaching.

Ultimately what we are teaching our students is personal and social capability, what are also known as ‘Life Rules’.

Last reviewed 25 February 2020
Last updated 25 February 2020