Rock­ing a new at­ti­tude

Stu­dents at Chi­fley Col­lege Shalvey Cam­pus are reach­ing a new level of aware­ness – slash­ing rates of anti-so­cial be­hav­iour at the same time.

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - - Jil­lian McKee

ANTI-SO­CIAL be­hav­iour at Chi­fley Col­lege Shalvey Cam­pus has been cut by more than half since the Rock and Wa­ter pro­gram was in­tro­duced three years ago.

It fo­cuses on ways to help stu­dents relieve stress and make in­formed de­ci­sions rather than act­ing with­out think­ing.

Be­fore the pro­gram be­gan, more than 1500 anti-learn­ing in­ci­dents had been re­ported each year at the school. This has dropped to less than 600 in the past year.

The pro­gram in­volves mar- tial arts, group ac­tiv­i­ties and games, and a de­brief­ing at the end of the ses­sion.

The col­lege’s deputy prin­ci­pal, Ivan Baker, said as a re­sult of the pro­gram, chil­dren were now able to walk away from dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tions.

“The real learn­ing comes in the de­brief, where teach­ers ask stu­dents ques­tions about dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions,” he said.

“Chil­dren are able to think, breathe and make cor­rect de­ci­sions.

“We are see­ing kids be more en­gaged in the class­room and less anx­ious about learn­ing dif­fi­cult sub­jects in the class­room. They have also learnt to trust their teach­ers bet­ter.”

Two hun­dred stu­dents from Years 7 and 8 en­gage in the lessons once a week, with the pro­gram set to ex­pand to Year 9 next year.

Pic­ture: CARMELA ROCHE

Ben Cop­son and Vil­iami Manupuna learn strate­gies to man­age anger while other par­tic­i­pants watch on.

Pic­ture: CARMELA ROCHE

Ben Cop­son, 13, and Vil­lami Manupuna, 13, go through some mar­tial arts moves.

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