A Glasser Quality School in Sunshine Beach

For over 24 years, Sunshine Beach State School has used William Glasser Choice Theory as the psychological base in its classrooms. We chatted with the principal to learn more about being a Glasser Quality School.


Dept of Environment Dingo campaign

What is a Glasser Quality School?

A Glasser Quality School is a happy and joyful place where people and quality relationships are at the heart of how we operate.

We use Dr William Glassers’ Choice Theory as our psychological base at Sunshine Beach to better understand our Sunshiners’ and our own behaviour. This enables us to know each individual child, their needs, personality and how they learn at a profoundly deep level.

By actively eliminating fear and coercion from our school and continually building and maintaining strong and supportive relationships, we are able to remove barriers to our Sunshiners’ learning. We believe that learning in school is directly proportional to how well the people involved get along with one another.

One of the key ways we build this supportive environment is by everyone working together to replace the Disconnecting Habits of:

  • Criticising
  • Blaming
  • Threatening
  • Complaining
  • Nagging
  • Punishing
  • Rewarding to control

… with the Connecting Habits:

  • Supporting
  • Encouraging
  • Listening
  • Accepting
  • Trusting
  • Respecting

Negotiating differences

We actively help our Sunshiners learn how to satisfy their needs in responsible and healthy ways. Those needs being Survival, Love and Belonging, Freedom, Fun and Enjoyment and Power. We also help them to do this while keeping those people who are important in their lives close. We work to help everyone in our school learn how to build the life they want to live and be the person they want be.

Dept of Environment Dingo campaign

What are the core values of a Glasser Quality School?

  • Relationships are based on trust and respect. And all discipline problems, not incidents, have been eliminated.
  • Student’s Learning Competency is stressed and self-evaluation and co-verification are used to encourage learners to become successful and independent learners. All schooling as defined by Dr. William Glasser has been replaced by useful education.
  • All students do some Quality Work each year that is significantly beyond competence.
  • Students and staff are taught to use Choice Theory in their lives and in their work in school. Parents are encouraged to participate in study groups to become familiar with the ideas of Dr. William Glasser.
  • Students do better on national proficiency tests and tertiary entrance examinations. The importance of these tests is emphasised in school.
  • Staff, students, parents and administrators view the school as a joyful place.

Glasser Quality Schools worldwide are successful because they focus on how people relate to each other when they work together.

What are the benefits of Choice Theory?

Choice Theory teaches us how and why human beings behave. It gives us tools for understanding ourselves and other people as well as the tools to build strong relationships and a happy, satisfying life. Understanding my own behaviour at a deep level helps me to take better control of my life. And to effectively solve the problems that we all face each day. Glasser Quality Schools across the world are successful because they focus on the way people relate to each other as they work together.

Why did you choose to introduce the program?

We want the absolute best for our Sunshiners, their families and our staff. We want to help our Sunshiners to develop the skills and understanding to be happy, successful children. And to become happy, successful adults.

What impact has it had at the Sunshine Beach school?

We have happy, engaged learners, and staff, students and parents view the school as a joyful place! We’ve experienced better relationships throughout the school, with problems and disagreements seen as solvable issues and used as opportunities for learning (for students and adults). As a result of removing barriers to learning and teaching, we’ve seen ongoing, high academic achievement results and NAPLAN scores. And with incredibly positive feedback from families, parents are continually requesting opportunities to learn Choice Theory themselves (e.g. the ‘Being the Parent I Want to Be’ workshops).

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Servicing Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and beyond, Kids on the Coast is an online guide for parents with kids events, attractions & things to do with kids, schools and education, school holiday guides, health & wellbeing for families, parenting and lifestyle news located on Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast & Brisbane, QLD.



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By Angela Sutherland
After spending many years hustling stories on busy editorial desks around the world, Angela is now mum of two little ones and owner/editor at Kids on the Coast / Kids in the City. She is an atrocious cook and loves cutting shapes to 90s dance music. Angela is the editor of Kids on the Coast - a free family magazine whats on guide for Kids: things to do, school holiday fun and free activities for kids... Fun attractions, family food & travel, kids health & wellbeing, kids parties venues, parenting, pregnancy & babies, guide for parents. Servicing Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and beyond, Kids on the Coast is an online guide for parents with kids things to do with kids, schools and education and lifestyle news located on Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast & Brisbane, QLD.

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