Program Guide

"What if everybody could be who they are, not the pretend self." (Grade 4/5 student)

Building Positive Relationships and School Cultures Program guide

This program guide is packed full with activities suitable for Grade 3 to 6 students. It was developed by Mt Nelson Primary School as a response to moving towards a more Respectful Schools environment using restorative, values-based, and holistic approaches.

It uses a kids-teaching-kids approach to help transform school cultures. It starts from a positive perspective where students explore friendship. Then students explore what can go wrong in relationships, including bullying.  They choose something in the school they want to change and design teaching activities for other classes as well as run a school campaign. 

If you are new to emotional and social learning then this guide explains  principles and processes based on a restorative model. It gives examples from the pilot program of student work and feedback. It also has inquiry questions for the teacher to reflect on to help adapt to what is emerging from the students.

The benefits of the program:  

  • It builds student awareness about the impact of friendships, lack of friendships and bullying behaviours;
  • Gives students agency. (The lack of agency is often a source of bullying behaviours); 
  • It connects students back to their hearts and bodies through regular drama activities; 
  • It gives students a sense of responsibility and leadership, and an opportunity to contribute to their school community, and; 
  • It is fun!


Many of the activities can be used as stand alone exercises as well as part of a cohesive program. They include:

  • art activities
  • working in teams and pairs
  • community circles
  • drama activities that use emotional and social intelligence experiments, including exploring and developing scenarios
  • world cafe brainstorming
  • writing letters of concern (to the Grand Poobar of Wiseness)

The time-line that Mt Nelson Primary School used over one month:
This program opens the door to further exploration, conversations and learning activities in your school.

You can align the program so that the Day of Action corresponds to the National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence.

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