Exeter High School has been tackling the issue of schoolyard bullying head-on and has taken some drastic actions to reduce instances of unsocial behaviour on its campus.
Two years ago, the school changed its approach to the student experience and as a result, has seen a 68 per cent decrease in suspension rates.
A right of passage for many young people is the prospect of having a locker to store all of their books and devices.
However, it is an experience Exeter High School students no longer receive, after all the lockers, locker bays and detention rooms were removed during the campus transformation.
Principal Benjamin Frerk said he had begun laying the groundwork for the culture change in 2016 but did not implement the changes until 2017.
"We knew that we had to change the culture of the school," he said.
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Mr Ferk said bullying had become prevalent and was something many teachers suspected was happening but was also being reported officially by students.
Teacher Ty Stewart said at the time, the teachers knew something needed to change.
"It was time for a change, it needed to happen soon," Mr Stewart said.
A survey of the student population revealed a staggering 97 per cent felt the locker bays were the most likely place on campus where bullying would occur.
Mr Frerk said during that survey, students also reported feeling unsafe in the bays.
Since the locker bays have been removed, new classrooms have been added and students now have their classrooms to store and show their work.
"We found students were losing 50 minutes per day transitioning between classrooms and loitering in locker bays," Mr Frerk said.
Since the changes have been implemented, the school has seen an increase in productivity and a decrease in bullying.
Parent and school association Treasurer Natalie Sydes said she had seen improvements within the school community after the implementation of the changes.
She said her children had reported witnessing instances of bullying before the changes but had not been on the receiving end themselves.
"My youngest was in the early days when the changes were made, so he didn't really know any different, and he's probably my trickiest child," she said.
"But it hasn't been anything other than positive."
Mrs Sydes said initially students, particularly those in the older grades, resisted the changes, which also included high expectations on how to behave in and outside the school.
However, she said since then, students had embraced the changes and it could be reflected in the way they carry themselves outside the school.
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Grade 10 student Laura Turmine said she had witnessed antisocial behaviour occurring in the locker bays before the changes and that it had decreased since the model change.
"It [fights] were more likely to happen there," she said.
Student Zac Jelfs said he initially was disappointed when the changes were announced but soon realised the benefits since working under the new model for 12 months.
The students agreed they wasted less time now the locker bays were gone and didn't mix as much with other grade cohorts, which kept them closer as peers.
While there were instances where the grades did mix, it was not as often as previously.
Exeter High School has moved to a Core approach, which advocates respect and pride among other respectful relationships.
It is modelled from the work of educational researcher Vic Zbar.
Zbar's work is grounded in several key principles such as ensuring every student is in full school uniform, the school's leadership team is stable and unchanged for some time and that the learning intentions of every lesson taught are clear and concise.
It's understood Deloraine High School and Cressy District High School also operate under a similar model. Exeter High School has 283 full-time equivalent students and 24 full time teaching staff.
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