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.
Behaviour for Learning, known as PBL is an evidence-based whole school systems
- 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
- 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.
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
- What part of the brain do we want to be in if we are seeking to
- 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)
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.
Strong enough to realise that you are not in your Learning Zone
enough to try to get back into your Learning Zone;
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
- Time travelling;
in their tummy;
talking a lot;
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)
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
Ultimately what we are teaching our students is personal and social
capability, what are also known as ‘Life