Support Planner:  Working with students


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See also...





Recent developments

In recent times more staff are using the Planner directly in conversations with students (and their families). This has several advantages:

  • the students have a better understanding of what is happening
  • students can see that the school cares about their success and well-being
  • staff and students gain insights into how and why certain things are occurring
  • together staff and students can put more effective support in place

This last item is potentially quite powerful since

  • it benefits from the knowledge that only the student has
  • when the student makes a suggestion he/she is committing to its success (and the success of associated items)

Two common staff errors

  • Overestimating the student's knowledge of what he/she is doing.
  • Underestimating what the student may be able to contribute (in conversation)

Four Planner components

There are  four components in the Planner for working with students (and their families) to plan for better outcomes:


1. Monitoring for support. Some schools run the Observations Day/Class report each week to find out who is 'not travelling so well at the moment'. Senior staff meet with these students and debrief on what happened last week and coach students for great success in the coming week. Sample questions include

  • How did things go wrong on the netball court last Tuesday?
  • If you could go back again, how would you handle it differently?
  • Were there other situations like that last week but you managed them OK? What was the difference?
  • How are you going to approach this week?
  • How can you make it easier for yourself to manage difficult situations well?
  • Who is helpful? Who is unhelpful? And what does that mean?
  • Can you tell when things are likely to go wrong? What advantage does this give you?
  • ...

2. The ISP component provides guidelines for staff: the intention is to record (and monitor) 3 to 5 everyday things that staff can do to make it easier for the student to be successful and experience well-being.

  • It is likely to be helpful if students know (and understand) what staff are doing, and why.
  • Students can also help shape the detail and provide feedback on what is working, and what's not.

See Positive Support Planning

3. In the very latest version of the Planner there is a Parent Information report available from the Positive Support view. At the click of the button this provides a statement of

  • The current goal for the student
  • What's been happening lately (observations from the last several days - you choose how many days)
  • The everyday things the school is doing to support the student (the ISP Key Actions)
  • Other comments (added by hand or word processed if the report is exported to Word)

This a powerful way to keep parents well informed and provides a comprehensive overview of the present situation.


4. The Agreement component can be used to jointly create a plan with the student to ensure his/her success. Simply

  • Agree the goal (choose an aspect of success and well-being)
  • Summarise the background
  • Outline who will do what
    • The school will ...
    • The family will ...
    • The student will ...
  • Meet from time to time and make notes on progress
  • Have a little celebration when the Agreement is achieved and can be ticked off as completed.

See Agreements

Note: the above represents a giant step forward from the more basic and traditional 'behaviour contracts'

Remember to include the positive

Recent one user emailed:

"Good afternoon Ivan,

I am sitting with one of our Gr 6 students at the moment. We have been
looking at the Data-base, and in particular, incidents of poor behaviour
that Nathan has been involved in this term. He has made the very good
suggestion that it would also be good to be able to record the positives
-e.g. when he gets happygrams, certificates.

And of course this is simply another kind of Observation and so should be included




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