24 July 2024

Strengthen a supportive peer culture

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Establishing a caring, supportive, and respectful class climate’

On this page:

Develop shared expectations

Develop shared expectations

Promote interactions that support a positive peer culture.

Agree with your students on the behaviours that will help ensure a safe and respectful learning environment.

Consider how you will: 

  • collaborate and agree on behaviours and expectations with your students
  • support students to understand the language and words used within the expectations, for example use pictures, words, and diagrams
  • plan to prompt or remind students of expectations prior to learning activities
  • display expectations so they are easily accessible as a tool to support student self management.

Source: Positive Behaviour for Learning (opens in a new tab/window)

Discuss friendships

Discuss friendships

An animated video to support junior classes to talk about friendships.

Develop peer tutoring approaches

Develop peer tutoring approaches

The advantages of peer tutoring.

Benefits for tutees

  • more individual teaching
  • gains in learning
  • gains in social/relationship skills, for example, communicating, accepting help
  • improvement in attitude towards learning
  • improvement in self-esteem.

Benefits for tutors

  • practice/reinforcement of skills at earlier levels
  • gains in learning
  • insight into the learning process
  • development of social/relationship skills, for example, listening, encouraging
  • development of responsibility 
  • development of self-esteem.

Benefits for teachers

  • increased opportunity to interact effectively with a range of individual students
  • more effective use of time
  • greater coverage of individual needs
  • opportunities to observe students at work, and to assess skills.

Source: The three R's of diversity: Teaching strategies for inclusive classrooms Part 2: Peer tutoring (opens in a new tab/window)

Strengthen collaborative strategies

Strengthen collaborative strategies

Consider how to build peer-to-peer support through your learning activities and class culture.

A skilled teacher optimises task sequences, not only to directly facilitate the different stages of learning cycles for individual students, but also to build up a peer learning culture that can intensify the challenges and supports for learning.

Useful resources

Useful resources

Teaching strategies for inclusive classrooms part 2 Peer tutoring

Teaching strategies for inclusive classrooms part 2: Peer tutoring

Read time: 3 min

Information to support setting up a successful peer tutoring programme in your classroom. Created for the NZ Ministry of Education.

Download PDF (6.2 MB)

Teaching strategies for inclusive classrooms part 1 Cooperative learning

Teaching strategies for inclusive classrooms part 1: Cooperative learning

Read time: 3 min

Information to support setting up a successful cooperative learning programme in your classroom.

Download PDF (3.2 MB)

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Establish a respectful class climate”:

Return to the guide “Developing an inclusive classroom culture ”