The Role Of School Culture In Student Achievement

The Role Of School Culture In Student Achievement

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School Culture

What is school culture?

Just as individuals have distinct personalities, schools develop their own traits over time. School leaders are responsible for cultivating a specific trait known as school culture. A positive school culture is established by school leaders through the creation of a shared vision, a cooperative and participatory environment in school administration, and effective communication. The attitudes, behavior, values, and morals of school management, teachers, students, and staff all contribute to shaping a positive school culture. Differences in parental engagement, social and cultural events, and the interactions between teachers and students further distinguish one school from another.

Ways to demonstrate a positive school culture in school:

Improve social climate:

  • Show appreciation and recognition for the hard work of both teaching and non-teaching staff, and provide rewards accordingly
  • Continuously invest in the professional development of teachers
  • Display students’ work to celebrate their achievements
  • Establish welcoming practices to greet students as they arrive in the classroom
  • Ensure physical comfort by providing adequate lighting, ventilation, and spacious seating arrangements
  • Encourage staff to avoid stereotyping any student

Focus on intellectual climate:

  • Create an inclusive learning environment that supports education for all, including reaching out to low-achieving and disadvantaged students
  • Celebrate success in various ways, such as verbal praise, badges or rewards, or organizing events to honor intellectually accomplished students
  • Set goals that encourage students to reflect on their academic and personal needs
  • Foster an environment that encourages questioning and satisfies children’s curiosity

Set rules and policies: 

  • Develop clear rules and policies for expected behavior and display them in each classroom and common area. Discuss them during assemblies
  • Ensure that all staff consistently follow behavior policies

Give importance to traditions and routines:

  • Assemblies play a crucial role in promoting a positive school culture. Structure assemblies to include various activities that contribute to students’ holistic growth
  • Organize a variety of school events, including cultural functions, fundraisers, sports, music, dance, and exhibitions

Give importance to relationships:

  • Value and respect the home language of all students
  • Recognize and appreciate different abilities at all levels. A student’s academic weaknesses should not define their abilities. Identify their strengths and nurture them
  • Promote the importance of using polite expressions such as “please,” “thank you,” and “sorry.”

Give a priority to parents engagement:

  • Make efforts to maintain transparency by providing parents with regular updates on their children’s growth and development
  • Seek valuable suggestions from parents regarding the school’s growth

Promote a fearless and safe environment:

Create an environment where everyone, including students, feels safe to share their thoughts, feelings, and challenges

Also Read: 8 Most Effective Ways to Keep Children Learning

Improve learning efficiency and academic performance:

Talent is less innate and more a result of consistent learning. Talent is acquired through the continuous acquisition of new knowledge and skills, for which students require a comfortable environment. Students engage better in learning when they have positive relationships with their peers and teachers, and when they are encouraged to express themselves and be listened to. This enables teachers to identify and address students’ problems, learning gaps, and needs. A positive school culture provides a healthy learning environment for children to have fun while fully utilizing their potential.

Positive school culture encourages student engagement and motivation, leading them to take initiative. This further fosters students’ connection with the school community, helping them develop a sense of belonging. As a result, students become more active participants in academic and extracurricular activities. An inclusive school culture empowers students to take ownership and responsibility for their learning and mistakes. Intrinsic motivation drives students to set high goals and persistently face challenges, ultimately leading to improved academic performance.

Encourage social behaviour and emotional intelligence:

Students spend the majority of their time in school, and school culture plays a vital role in shaping their behavior. A school culture that embraces diversity teaches students to respect different perspectives, cultures, and languages. The behaviors and traits they observe in school influence their lives, benefiting not only themselves but also their families and society in the long run.

A positive school culture, characterized by a fear-free environment, promotes mental health, self-confidence, and resilience. It serves as a strong support system for students’ mental and emotional needs. In such an environment, students feel valued, supported, and respected. With the help of a supportive school culture, students can effectively manage stress and overcome challenges, while also developing healthy relationships with their peers, teachers, and staff.

Also Read: 5 Mental Health Tips For School Leaders

Root for growth mindset:

Students’ performance in school is closely linked to their mindset. A school culture that fosters a growth mindset sets expectations and provides clear goals, rules, and regular feedback. These key features of a positive school culture help instill a growth mindset in students. 

Regular feedback from parents, teachers, and students themselves makes students more introspective and encourages them to find their own solutions to challenges and difficulties. Educators who cultivate a positive culture in their classrooms guide students in reflecting on their growth, addressing specific issues in their academic and personal lives, seeking help, and using feedback to consistently grow and overcome challenges. School culture directly influences children’s achievements, not only in school but also in the long run.

Say yes to moral development:

Values and morals shape human behavior, and school culture plays a significant role in instilling them in students, thus shaping their personalities. A school culture rooted in strong morals emphasizes teaching students values, principles, and self-sacrifice, while encouraging their involvement in pro-social activities. Schools with a positive culture establish and adhere to norms and guidelines, transferring discipline to their students.

School culture is a crucial factor in the holistic development of a school. High-performing schools are associated with a positive and strong culture, which contributes to improved student achievement, staff collaboration, and teacher’s professional growth. Good relationships, effective collaboration, and the consistent development of necessary skill sets enable schools to provide quality education.

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