Brampton West Family of Schools - Schools in Action 2012/2013 Volume 1 Issue 1 - Page 8

Happy are those who work for peace; God will call them his children! Matthew 5:9 St. Maria Goretti Catholic Elementary School From “Gotcha” to Colour Groups Creating an Inclusive and Safe Community of Learners Last year we started an initiative to increase students’ feelings of safety, inclusion and community with a “Gotcha” program. Each time a student was caught doing something positive or standing up for someone, they were given a Gotcha to submit to the office. Once a week, time was put aside to recognize and applaud these students while encouraging others to be “caught” too. This year we were very proud to build on last year’s program and to introduce our colour group system. Students were placed in colour teams, which of the SPEAKUP Grant. The group met on a weekly basis, lead by the Public Health Nurse and the CYW. Discussions were focused on developing Sharon Mifsud, Principal ECO School Certification friendships in positive ways. Leadership opportunities were provided in a variety of ways and activities centred on helping others through random acts of kindness. They participated in activities such as reading books focused on the virtues to the primary students, helping during assemblies, making announcements about the virtue of the month and making friendship bracelets. Within the group we also reinforced the idea of keeping their problems small and using positive behaviour to solve any issues that may arise. These activities helped develop their cooperation skills and independence and building relationships with their peers. Healthy School Recognition S.N.A.P. PALS Roots of Empathy RAID consisted of a teacher and students from each grade in the school. Once a month these cross grade groups come together to complete challenges, play games, learn and have fun. This in turn helps and supports one another not just in their color group, but also in the yard and hallway. Our goal is for all students to feel that they are valued and safe at school. Web SPEAKUP - Giving Girls a Voice The Virtues in Action Girls Group has played an active role with developing girls self esteem and a sense of belonging at St. Maria Goretti. Two years ago, we started a girls group, with the help Children Are Our Focus. Their Good Is at the Centre of All That We Do. 6