Support Planner:  Coding positives


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Being Positive
Coding positives

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One school's query

"A particular student is progressing well so we have called his dad to come into school to hear about how well he is doing. I put the action to contact dad etc in Support Actions but then felt that I should record the fact that his teacher is pleased with his progress in “Observations”. However, we don’t have a code item for this kind of entry … because the section was originally called “Incidents”. I think we have used the + symbol in the past for entries of this kind. Anyone else you know have a code for this kind of “observation”?"

Simple response

The simple answer is "No" (at least to my knowledge). So there is a task to do.


This query raises some interesting (and perhaps uncomfortable) issues about ourselves and our schools

  • We have plenty of coding systems to record negative data
  • We few or no system ways of coding positive data

What does this say about us?


Negative data usually refer to ways in which school rules, agreements or expectations may be broken.

  • Click on the following link for more on Coding


But what about codes for positive data??

Developing codes for positive data - some possibilities

There are positive codes that are used elsewhere

  • Personal best  = PB

Other positive and negative 'rules'

Negative rules generally describe boundaries which should not be crossed, whereas positive rules seem to be more about areas of activity that are to be encouraged.


Some schools have the three generic negative rules

  • No harm to self, other and property
  • No disruption to work or play
  • No offense to other members of the (school) community


The corresponding positive forms might be understood as

  • Care                  = CA
  • Consideration    = CO
  • Courtesy            = CT


Other schools have more positive rules, eg, that lead directly to possible positive coding such as

  • Be safe          = BS
  • Be a learner  = BL
  • Be a friend    = BF


There are positive codes that are used elsewhere


And some schools have agreements which are a mixture of positive and negative elements,

eg, a Tribes school might have the following agreements

  • Mutual respect        = MR
  • Attentive listening   = AL
  • No putdowns           = FP (meaning fewer/no putdowns)
  • Show appreciation  = SA
  • Focus on task           = FT

Deja vu

A couple of years ago we introduced Goals into the Planner. It was embarrassing that this critical data item emerged so late in the development of the Planner. I think the issue of capturing and coding positive data is similarly embarrassing, especially given our expertise in coding negative data.

Using positive data in your school

Please share your school's positive coding system with other members of the discussion list.


Just send an email to the  discussion list or to





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