“Good behaviour is a necessary condition for effective teaching to take place.”
The Governing Body accepts this principle and mission statement and seeks to create an environment in the school which encourages and reinforces good behaviour. Furthermore, it is acknowledged that society expects good behaviour as an important outcome of the educational process.
- To create an environment which encourages and reinforces good behaviour and that promotes a sense of responsibility and self-discipline.
- To define acceptable standards of behaviour.
- To encourage consistency of response to both positive and negative behaviour.
- To promote self-esteem, self-discipline and positive relationships.
- To ensure that the school’s expectations and strategies are widely known and understood and are the collective responsibility of the whole school community.
- To encourage the involvement of both home and school in the implementation of this policy.
Standards of Behaviour
In seeking to define acceptable standards of behaviour it is acknowledged that these are goals to be worked towards rather than expectations which are either fulfilled or not. Thus the school has a central role in the children’s social and moral development just as it does in their academic development. Just as we measure academic achievement in terms of progress and development over time towards academic goals, so we measure standards of behaviour in terms of the children’s developing ability to conform to our behavioural goals.
The children bring to school a wide variety of behaviour patterns based on differences in home values, attitudes and parenting skills. At school we must work towards standards of behaviour based on the basic principles of honesty, respect, consideration and responsibility. It follows that acceptable standards of behaviour are those which reflect these principles.
The adults encountered by the children at school have an important responsibility to model high standards of behaviour, both in their dealings with the children and with each other, as their example has an important influence on the children.
As adults we should aim to:
- Create a positive climate with realistic expectations.
- Emphasise the importance of being valued as an individual within the group.
- Promote, through example, honesty and courtesy.
- Provide a caring and effective learning environment.
- Encourage relationships based on kindness, respect and understanding of the needs of others.
- Ensure fair treatment for all regardless of age, gender, race, ability and disability.
- Show appreciation of the efforts and contribution of all.
School Council have been consulted and have made the following statement on behalf of all pupils at Barrow Hall.
“It is important that we behave in school because it makes it easier to learn and it is easier for the teacher to teach us without disruption. When we go out of school we should behave because we are role models for our school. If we are badly behaved, people won’t want to come to our school and they may choose another school instead of ours. Behaviour is generally very good at Barrow Hall.”
The following was a list of ways that School Council would like everyone to behave:
- Show kindness.
- Don’t shout out.
- Always walk in school.
- Behave as well as the adults in school.
- Always have manners – say please and thank you.
- Always respect people and their property.
School council agreed that we are all responsible for behaviour in school – all school staff, visitors, parents but especially pupils who should take responsibility for their own behaviour.
The Curriculum and Learning
We believe that an appropriately structured curriculum and effective learning contribute to good behaviour. Thorough planning for the needs of individual pupils, the active involvement of pupils in their own learning, and structured feedback all help to avoid the alienation and disaffection which can lie at the root of poor behaviour.
It follows that lessons should have clear objectives, understood by the children, and differentiated to meet the needs of children of different abilities. Marking and record keeping can be used both as a supportive activity, providing feedback to the children on their progress and achievements, and as a signal that the children’s efforts are valued and that progress matters.
Good behaviour extends beyond ‘doing the right things’. It is also recognised in class as a positive attitude to learning and at Barrow Hall we seek to encourage and develop children who take responsibility for their own learning and have positive attitudes.
Classroom management and teaching methods have an important influence on children’s behaviour. The classroom environment gives clear messages to the children about the extent to which they and their efforts are valued. Relationships between teachers and children, strategies for encouraging good behaviour, arrangements of furniture, access to resources and classroom displays all have a bearing on the way children behave.
Classrooms should be organised to develop independence and personal initiative. Furniture should be arranged to provide an environment conducive to on-task behaviour. Materials and resources should be arranged to aid accessibility and reduce uncertainty and disruption. Displays should help develop self esteem through demonstrating the value of every individual’s contribution, and overall the classroom should provide a welcoming environment.
Teaching methods should encourage enthusiasm and active participation for all. Lessons should aim to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding which will enable the children to work and play in co-operation with others. Praise should be used to encourage good behaviour as well as good work. Criticism should be a private matter between teacher and child to avoid resentment and should be conducted away from others in the class, should be constructive, giving advice on how to improve.
Rules and Procedures
Rules and procedures should be designed to make clear to the children how they can achieve acceptable standards of behaviour.
Rules and procedures should:
- Be kept to a necessary minimum.
- Be positively stated, telling the children what to do rather than what not to do.
- Actively encourage everyone involved to take part in their development.
- Have a clear rationale, made explicit to all.
- Be consistently applied and enforced.
- Promote the idea that every member of the school has responsibilities for them.
Our emphasis is on rewards to reinforce good behaviour, rather than on failures. We believe that rewards have a motivational role, helping children to see that good behaviour is valued. The commonest reward is praise, informal and formal, public and private, to individuals and groups. It is earned by the maintenance of good standards as well as by particularly noteworthy achievements. This is as true for adults as for children. Rates of praise for behaviour should be as high as for work.
Some examples of rewarding positive attitudes towards work and behaviour include:
- A quiet word of encouragement.
- A positive written comment on work.
- Merit stickers, celebration certificates, notes home.
- A visit to another member of staff or the Head teacher.
- Public praise – in a group, in class or in assembly.
- Acknowledgement by presentation at celebration assembly.
- Special privileges or responsibilities in school.
- Sharing/displaying good work.
Although rewards are central to the encouragement of good behaviour, realistically there is a need for sanctions to register the disapproval of unacceptable behaviour and to protect the security and stability of the school community. In an environment where respect is central, loss of respect, or disapproval, is a powerful punishment.
The use of punishment should be characterised by certain features:-
- It must be clear why the sanction is being applied.
- It must be made clear what changes in behaviour are required to avoid future punishment.
- Group punishment should be avoided as they breed resentment.
- There should be a clear distinction between minor and major offences.
- It should be the behaviour rather than the person that is punished.
Sanctions range from expressions of disapproval, through withdrawal of privileges, to referral to the Head teacher, letters to parents and, ultimately and in the last resort, exclusion. Most instances of poor behaviour are relatively minor and can be adequately dealt with through minor sanctions. It is important that the sanction is not out of proportion to the offence.
Where anti-social, disruptive or aggressive behaviour is frequent sanctions alone are ineffective. In such cases careful evaluation of the curriculum on offer, classroom organisation and management, and whole school procedures should take place to eliminate these as contributory factors. Additional specialist help and advice from the Educational Psychologist or other external agencies may be necessary. This possibility should be discussed with the Head teacher and/or SENCO, as appropriate.
Communication and Parental Partnership
We give high priority to clear communication within the school and to a positive partnership with parents since these are crucial in promoting and maintaining high standards of behaviour.
Where the behaviour of a child is giving cause for concern it is important that all those working with the child in school are aware of those concerns, and of the steps which are being taken in response. The key professional in this process of communication is the class teacher who has the initial responsibility for the child’s welfare. Early warning of concerns should be communicated to the Head of Department and then Head teacher so that strategies can be discussed and agreed before more formal steps are required.
A positive partnership with parents is crucial to building trust and developing a common approach to behaviour expectations and strategies for dealing with problems. Parental participation in many aspects of school life is encouraged. This participation assists the development of positive relationships in which parents are more likely to be responsive if the school requires their support in dealing with difficult issues of unacceptable behaviour.
The school will communicate policy and expectations to parents. Where behaviour is causing concern parents will be informed at an early stage, and given an opportunity to discuss the situation. Parental support will be sought in devising a plan of action within this policy, and further disciplinary action will be discussed with the parents.
Where other sanctions fail, or in extreme situations, school will consider exclusion as the next step. In such cases, school will follow procedures and guidelines suggested by Warrington Borough Council. Parents will be fully informed and included in this process. Where false allegations are made against staff, this may also result in exclusion.