Created: January 2013
Reviewed & approved by Board: 26th April 2017
Next Review: April 2018
The policy principally relates to children, but it is important to note that the principles set out here relate to positive relationships and behaviour of all; this includes staff in relation to a bullying or racist incident
The policy follows the recommendations and principles set out by the Department for Education
Aims, Expectations and Principles
It is a primary aim of our school that every member of the school community feels happy, valued and respected, and that each person is treated fairly and well. We are a caring community with mutual trust and respect for all.
The primary aim of this policy is to promote good choices with lead to effective relationships so that everyone can support each other, work together and learn well. It aims to promote relationships which are happy, safe and secure. This policy aims to help children become positive, responsible and increasingly independent members of the school community. The school rewards good behaviour, as it believes that this will develop and ethos of kindness and cooperation. The policy is designed to promote good behaviour, not merely deter anti-social behaviour.
Central within the policy is choice: we refer to good choices (which lead to good consequences) and choices that are bad (which lead to negative consequences). There are two key reasons for using the language of “choice” (See Appendix: The Language of Choice – 3 Steps to Success):
- it promotes self-management of behaviour and enables some reflection of what behavioural choices exist(ed) i.e. there are always different behaviour options (we don’t accept/expect that some children will always behave in such a way)
- it avoids labelling children – instead, we refer to the choices we all make and that we should always try to make good choices
Praise is the key to nurturing motivated, engaged children who make good choices and consequently build positive relationships. Throughout school, all stakeholders (not just staff, but pupils, parents and visitors) should aim to “catch” good behaviour. If we become complacent, many good choices could be taken for granted and many children who always make good choices could become “invisible”.
Refer to Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults who work with Children and Young People in Education Settings for important safeguarding procedures to which we all adhere.
Roles, Rights and Responsibilities
It is the responsibility of pupils to make good choices at all times and with all adults and pupils in school. This will lead to pupils behaving well and building up and maintaining good relationships. Pupils should follow three simple rules to avoid bad choices:
- Follow Instructions
- Keep hands, feet and objects themselves
- Use positive language (including body language)
Following instructions can include “3-2-1-Stop”: in our school, this means
- Silent voices
- Empty hands
- Eyes on the speaker
All staff in our school have high expectations of the children in terms of their relationships, choices and behaviour. A key priority is to reward and praise good choices in order to reinforce good behaviour (including following school rules) and positive relationships – “catching” pupils behaving well is vital, exclaiming about how well a pupil has behaved (and not becoming complacent).
With these principles in mind, specific responsibilities of the class teacher are to:
- praise children on individual/group basis (public praise is very powerful), making explicit why: what rule they have followed, or what choice they have made
- follow our warnings system, making explicit why: always states what rules they have broken, and always record the incidents
- display in the classroom the consequences of their choices (both positive and negative; see Consequences, below) – this can help when you explain way you are praising/warning
- be consistent with all consequences
- treat each child fairly and with respect and understanding
- apply these principles, roles and responsibilities with their own class and around the school
- be a positive role model by demonstrating positive relationships with everyone in school.
- keep a record and any relevant notes if a child misbehaves and/or receives a warning
- having followed regular procedures and consequences, seek help and advice from the Head teacher
- liaise with external agencies as necessary, to support and guide the progress of each child, e.g. discuss the needs of a child with the education social worker or local authority behaviour support service.
- report to parents about the child’s social and emotion aspects of school life, including behaviour and relationships.
It is the responsibility of teaching assistants, office staff and all other adults in school to support the headteacher and teachers in meeting the above objective. As with teachers, a key priority is to reward and praise good choices in order to reinforce good behaviour (including following school rules) and positive relationships. All staff should be proactive in “catching” pupils behaving well and exclaiming about how well the pupil has behaved.
In addition to the above, it is the responsibility of the headteacher to:
- support the staff by implementing the policy, including the above objectives, and by setting the standards of behaviour
- implement this policy consistently throughout the school, and to report to the governors, when requested, on its effectiveness (under the School Standards and Framework Act 1998)
- ensure the health, safety and welfare of all children in the school
- maintain records of all reported serious incidents or misbehaviour
- issue fixed-term suspensions to individual children for serious acts of misbehaviour and for repeated or very serious acts of antisocial behaviour. The Head teacher may permanently exclude a child, but both these actions are only taken after the school governors have been notified.
The school works collaboratively with parents so children receive consistent messages about how to behave. We aim to build a supportive dialogue between the home and the school. We inform parents immediately if we have concerns about their child’s welfare or behaviour – this included if a child receives five warnings or if there is a pattern of regularly receiving warnings.
We expect parents to:
- be aware that we have school rules (often communicated to parents) and to support them
- co-operate with the school
- support their child’s learning
- support the school’s decision when applying consequences to deal with any specific incident/issue
If the parents have any concern about the way that their child has been treated, they should contact the class teacher. If the concern remains, they should contact the headteacher, and if still unresolved, the school governor. If these discussions cannot resolve the problem, a formal grievance or appeal process can be implemented.
The governing body has the responsibility of setting down these general guidelines on standards of discipline and behaviour, of reviewing their effectiveness. The governors support the headteacher in carrying out these guidelines.
The headteacher has the day to day authority to implement the school behaviour and discipline policy, but governors may give advice to the headteacher about particular disciplinary issues. The headteacher must take this into account when making decisions about matters of behaviour.
Positive consequences: Each teacher and their class develop their own systems of reward and praise, based on the overall school principles set out in this policy. This will include at least individual and class rewards and typically, especially with older children, group rewards to promote inter-personal relationships. Some of the positive consequences for the good choices and good behaviour that children show are:
- regular verbal feedback to reinforce positive behaviour
- reference to good role models
- children are congratulated
- stickers or other small prizes/treats
- certificates: usually at least one based on learning and at least one based on a Social and Emotional Aspect of Learning (given in Friday Assemblies)
- Golden Time if a class has achieved a class target
- Cool Class Tokens are given to children for good choices, good relationships, politeness, co-operation or acts of kindness in school – the class with the most Cool Class Tokens are awarded the Cool Class Cup on Friday Assemblies
Sweets are not used as rewards: we prefer to reward in other ways. Assemblies are an opportunity to publicly celebrate the good choices children have made in school and to share some of the good work they have been producing. Also important is to celebrate achievements out of school in order to promote a wider range of interests and a broad outlook. Attendance is also rewarded. We give termly certificates for good attendance and at the end of the year there is a prize for all children who have achieved outstanding attendance.
Negative Consequences: Staff employ consistently and clearly a hierarchy of negative consequences (our “warnings”) if a child breaks a school rule. This is to ensure a safe and effective learning environment in which positive, happy, healthy relationships flourish
We have several school rules (the pupils contribute to these); however, the main ones being:
- We keep hands, feet and objects to ourselves
- We follow instructions
- We use positive language
We have a series of consequences if someone breaks a rule:
- A reminder about behaviour and choices
- Five minutes off break and/or away from group
- Time out of class and missed break or 15 minutes off lunch
- Time out of class and 30 minutes of lunch play missed
- Pupil sees Head and parents are informed
Low-level, ongoing disruptive or uncooperative behaviour (e.g. not following instructions straight away, talking in class and interrupting) are small issues but over time may stop and child and others from learning or feeling settled. We aim to keep this to a minimum and aim to spot patterns when warnings occur. The following stages are followed to reduce such behaviour:
- Stage 1: a letter to parents to inform of high number of warnings caused by low-level disruptive/uncooperative behaviour incidents; this stage would typically begin in the first half of a term
- Stage 2: a letter to parents to advise this has continued and therefore we need to see an improvement within a fixed period of time; a behaviour chart at school to track incidents will be used (in addition to other Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) interventions that may be used); this stage would typically begin in the second half of a term
- Stage 3: a meeting between parent, pupil, learning mentor and teacher
Serious misbehaviour (e.g. disrespect to staff, property or cultures, swearing and fighting) is very rare at Dania. Such behaviour would mean warnings are automatically by-passed to four or usually five warnings. Similarly, any pattern in warnings or consistent warnings means parents are contacted. We contact parents to keep them in the picture and to discuss ways to respond and gain a consistent message between home and school.
We do recognise that there are occasionally overriding factors or circumstances, but these are rare and so variation from the warnings system is rare. This is to maintain their effect and impersonal nature i.e. we aim to remove the personal judgement so children understand and accept the school rules. We allow for differentiation of sanctions where appropriate. This is to reflect different levels of culpability (or fault) while maintaining consistency and fairness of the treatment of pupils.
We expect children to try their best in all activities. If they do not do so, we may ask them to redo or complete a task. We expect children to make good choices and older children to set a good example to younger ones. We expect children to not support the misbehaviour of their peers. We expect and encourage children to tell and adult of misbehaviour.
The safety of children is paramount in all situations. If a child’s behaviour endangers the safety of others, the class teacher stops the activity and prevents the child from taking part for the rest of that session.
The class teacher discusses the school rules with each class, and also creates a Classroom Charter as part of their New Beginnings Social Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) work. This is agreed by the children and displayed on the wall of the classroom. In this way, every child in the school knows the standard of behaviour that we expect in our school. The school does not tolerate bullying of any kind. If we discover that an act of bullying or intimidation has taken place, we act immediately to stop any further occurrences of such behaviour (see Anti- Bullying Policy).
All members of staff are aware of the regulations regarding the use of force by teachers, as set out in DfE Circular 10/98, relating to section 550A of the Education Act 1996: The Use of Force to Control or Restrain Pupils. Staff would only need to intervene physically to restrain children or to prevent injury to a child, or if a child is in danger of hurting him/herself. The actions that we take are in line with government guidelines on the restraint of children. (All Dania staff are trained in positive handling) We follow the comprehensive recommendations set out by the Department for Education (see web link at start of policy) for clarification of any specific matter e.g. confiscation of an item.
The headteacher monitors the effectiveness of this policy on a regular basis. She also reports to the Board of Governors on the effectiveness of the policy and, if necessary, makes recommendations for further improvements.
The school keeps a variety of records of incidents of misbehaviour. The class teacher records incidents with reference to the warnings system; we also keep a record of serious incidents that occur at break or lunchtimes. The headteacher keeps a record of any pupil who is suspended for a fixed-term, or who is permanently excluded. Racial incidents must be reported to the local authority; homophobic incidents are also recorded.
It is the responsibility of the Board of Governors to monitor the rate of suspensions and exclusions, and to ensure that the school policy is administered fairly and consistently.
At Dania School we also recognise the importance of the Equality Act 2010. This replaced and unified all existing equality legislation such as the Race Relations Act, Disability Discrimination Act and Sex Discrimination Act. It aims to ensure that all people (pupils/teachers/parents/family/visitors etc) have equality of opportunity in accessing and experiencing the life of the school. When carrying out our day to day work, we should have regard to the following:
- eliminating discrimination
- advancing equality of opportunity
- foster good relations across all people, whatever their characteristics may be
Written: Mike Papesch: Trustee: Jan 2013
Reviewed: March 2017
|This policy was adopted on||Signed on behalf of Dania School||Date for review|
Appendix: The Language of Choice – 3 Steps to Success):
Step 1 – Statement of reality (tell them what you see)
Ricky, you’re climbing over the fence.
Never ask a child whey they are doing what they are doing. It is confrontational and you don’t actually need to know why they are doing it – they just need to stop it! After hearing you use as statement of reality, many children will quickly do something to change the behaviour with having to move further down the script. Remember: you need to give them take-up time to do this rather than stand over them, which again can be confrontational. Remember to praise them if they change their behaviour.
Should they not change their behaviour, the next part of your script is:
Step 2 – Describe the behaviour you want to see, ending the statement with a thank you
Ricky, you need to collect the ball by using the gate – thank you
Rather than starting or ending your statement with please, use a thank you instead. A thank you carries more of an expectation that they will do as you have asked them to do. Remember to use these scripts with a smile in you your voice and on your face as you are more likely to get positive results.
Step 3 – Statement of Choice
If they still do not do as you have requested you need to use language of choice. This gives the child the responsibility for the consequences that you will carry out (and you must deliver consequences or the child will learn that you do not follow threats through).
Ricky, if you choose to continue to climb over the fence then you will lose two minutes off your lunchtime. It’s your choice.
Although it’s easier said than done, you should remain calm and assertive rather than aggressive when using these scripts. If you lose your cool, then the child will pick up on your tone and may well be aggressive back which will make the situation worse. Most importantly, if after using the language of choice the child chooses to do the right thing, then you must praise them for making the right choice. This means that the child learns that it is good to do the right thing and that you are pleased that they have made a good choice. Every child loves to be praised on the inside, even though they might not show it on the outside.
Well done Ricky, you made the right choice.
Ignore them stomping around or grumbling as they do the right thing – the most important thing is that they have made the right choice! Should the child choose not to do as you have asked, then it is absolutely simple: you follow through with the consequences you stated. Don’t care in their protests as you carry out the consequences – if you are consistent, the methods outlined will work. You could repeatedly say, for example, “In our school, we keep hands and feet to ourselves” which reminds of the rule which never changes; this implies the system is there and is fair, rather than personal “against” them.