Second Step in New Zealand - New River Primary School

Earlier this year, the team at Positive Pieces Education were lucky enough to visit a Second Step school in Invercargill, New Zealand. New River Primary School has integrated Second Step into their school curriculum for over a year and have seen fantastic results since doing so. We captured some of the wonderful teachers, students and leadership staff sharing their experience with Second Step and have put it together in a video to share with you.


New River Primary's Second Step journey started when the wonderful Resource Teachers of Learning and Behaviour (RTLB), who support a cluster of schools in the Southland region, attended a Positive Pieces Education workshop in Brisbane, Australia. Having already implemented the Positive Behaviour for Learning framework across their network of schools, the RTLB team could see that they needed to go further to equip their students with explicit social and emotional skills. They came across Second Step after researching evidence-based, whole-school Social Emotional Learning programs and chose Second Step for its comprehensive coverage of the CASEL framework and easy-to-teach nature. Since implementing Second Step, office referrals at New River Primary have reduced from 27 the year prior to just 10 this year within the same time frame.


Data was gathered in the early implementation phase, including feedback from teachers and students. Below are some of their thoughts on Second Step:

Teacher Voice

- Supports/reinforces PB4L

- The language is simple and students are using the language

- Lessons are easy to implement for teachers

- Lessons and follow-through activities are well planned

- The program provides realistic examples that the students easily relate to

- Excellent values taught throughout the program

- Students are using their signal to calm down and are reminding others to do so


Student Voice

“I am learning body still, eyes watching, ears listening and mouth quiet.” (Skills for Learning/Executive Function) ”I ask people, ‘Do you want to be my friend?’ That makes me feel happy.” ”I've been learning about people’s feelings and how to be kind.” “I have learned that it’s ok to feel angry.” “I say sorry to my brother when he falls down and I cuddle him.” “I’ve learned that it’s ok to have different feelings about the same thing.” “I’ve learned how to be happy and I know about other people’s feelings.” “It is ok to have a different perspective from my friends.”

“I have learned how to be an active listener, I must look at the person, not interrupt and be interested."

Watch New River Primary School's story below to see how the Second Step program has helped to improve the social and emotional wellbeing and behaviour of students and boosted the school community as a whole.

To learn more about Second Step in Australia and New Zealand, visit the Positive Pieces Education website or contact our office.

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