School climate is a holistic concept which encompasses four domains: safety, interpersonal relationships, teaching and learning, and the school environment. Improvement across these domains positively impacts student academic outcomes, and the mental health and wellbeing of the whole school community.
School climate and school culture are different. Climate is a product of relationships and how people feel about their school. Culture concerns values, meanings and beliefs, and how things are done. Climate can be shifted more easily than culture. A positive school climate enhances learning environments.
School climate is a multidimensional, holistic concept that encompasses a number of domains: safety, teaching and learning, interpersonal relationships, and the environment. It is a result of relationships between students, school staff, parents and the community.
School climate —positive or negative is a major factor in student achievement, and mental health and wellbeing. For students this includes prosocial behaviour, social inclusion, attendance, belonging and connectedness; and for educators, job satisfaction, retention, self-efficacy, and wellbeing.
Improvement endeavours are more effective when all four climate domains are addressed simultaneously. Effective cycles of improvement are ongoing, “intentional, strategic, collaborative, transparent, and coordinated” and involve whole-school engagement.
Staff at AISHK understand the importance of developing a health school climate and have considered the four domains when planning for 2017. To support development in the safety domain and to encourage whole school engagement all parents have been emailed a link to a wellbeing student survey. The data collected from this survey will inform us about aspect of our school climate and relationships within the school community. Please take time to complete this survey.
We have also been explicitly teaching and discussing ways in which we can enhance interpersonal relationships during our Peer Support program this term. We hope that by explicitly teaching these skills we can help our students form healthy and happy relationships with students across the entire Primary Division.
In the domain of teaching and learning staff have been reviewing and undergoing Professional Learning in the area of assessment for, as and of learning. At the heart of assessment for learning is the notion, supported by evidence, that students who truly understand and are involved in their learning have accelerated rates of achievement. In order for students to have this participation in their learning, a genuine learning-focused relationship must exist in the classroom. Our staff recognise this and work on developing this relationship with their students.
Finally in the domain of the school environment the school has invested resources into updated our classrooms, furniture and learning resources in order to better cater for the learning styles of our students.
David Shirley | Head of Primary