A supportive school culture

Derby HS students

Activity: Identify the elements that indicate a supportive classroom and a positive school culture of respect, equality and cooperation.

East Kimberley Schools


  • Identify the aspects (artefacts and espoused values) that were visible in your schooling.
  • Identify the underlying cultural assumptions (unconscious beliefs/perceptions) that were not visible in your schooling experience.
  • Identify aspects of a school that would portray a positive school culture, that would enable students to learn effectively.

In groups, consider what such a school might look like, feel like and sound like using the following aspects of school life:

  • interpersonal interactions (between and with staff, students, parents/caregiver and community organisations/member)
  • physical spaces – indoor and outdoor spaces (buildings, classrooms, play areas, corridors)
  • teaching and learning
  • before school, after school and break times (lunch, recess, entering the learning space, before and after school)
  • media (website, Facebook page, newsletter).

Sometimes it is helpful to consider what it would not look like, feel like and sound like. Now brainstorm what a school that harbours disrespect, inequality, exclusivity, individualism, and egoism would look like, feel like and sound like.

Discuss the following:

  • In which school would you rather be a student, a parent/caregiver, or another community member?
  • Who would thrive in each of the two school cultures described?
  • Which school culture is more likely to contribute to student learning for all students?
  • Discuss any other aspects of a school’s culture that may or may not contributes to promoting or embodying reconciliation.

Poster activity

In groups, design a visual resource that promotes the values of reconciliation and that you could envisage using as a beginning teacher.  Look at the following images that could be used as posters.

Poster examples:





Share with your group:

  • How do they make you feel?
  • What is the poster’s intended message/theme? What is it promoting?
  • Is it successful in achieving the desired message, theme and or feeling?
  • Is it successful in promoting the values of reconciliation?

Where possible make copies of the resources to display.